Another Filipino dies in Louisiana rig blast

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Saturday, November 24, 2012

MANILA -- One of the four Filipino oil workers, who was seriously injured in last week's explosion in the Gulf of Mexico, passed away Saturday morning, the Philippine Ambassador said.

“The embassy has been informed of the sad news that one of our kababayans injured in the November 16 incident in the Gulf of Mexico, Avelino L. Tajonera, passed away early this morning in the presence of his loved ones,” Ambassador Jose Cuisia, Jr. said. "The Filipino nation joins his family in grieving over their loss.”

Tajonera’s death brings to two the number of fatalities in the November 16 explosion and fire that also left three other Filipinos seriously injured and one missing.

Ellroy Corporal, 42, died in the incident while Jerome Malagapo, 28, is still missing.

Cuisia said the family members of the three injured Filipinos have arrived in Baton Rouge Hospital and have been given access to the patients.

Tajonera, who was one of two workers listed in critical condition, passed away early on Friday (Saturday in Manila), shortly after the arrival of his wife and three children from Manila.

Cuisia was informed of Tajonera’s death by Randolf Malagapo, Executive Manager of the US-based D&R Resources, which hired him and the other injured Filipinos to work in Louisiana’s offshore oil and gas industry.

Malagapo informed the embassy that the members of Tajonera’s family were able to see him at the Regional Burn Unit of the Baton Rouge General Hospital shortly after they arrived from the Philippines on Thursday evening. He passed away a few hours later.

Cuisia and Consul General Leo Herrera-Lim of the Philippine Consulate General in Chicago have expressed their condolences to the family of Tajonera. They assured the family that the Philippine government will extend any assistance required.

Herrera-Lim said three other Filipino workers who survived the incident are now back in Manila after giving their accounts of the incident to federal authorities investigating the cause of the fire.

The remains of Corporal, on the other hand, will be repatriated to the Philippines on Tuesday. (PNA)

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