Helicopter Rotor Blade Kills Worker on Offshore Platform

Dec. 21, 2004
A worker was struck and killed by the rotor blade of a helicopter that crashed on an offshore platform in the Gulf of Mexico. The man, who was a passenger, had safely exited the helicopter before being struck by the blade.

OMNI Energy Services Corp. announced that one of its Bell 407s crashed around noon on Dec. 17 while attempting to land on an offshore platform located at Ship Shoal 130E in the Gulf of Mexico. The helicopter carried a pilot and three passengers.

While everyone on board was able to exit the helicopter, one passenger died as a result of the accident. The exact cause of death has not yet been determined. The pilot sustained serious, but non-life threatening injuries and the remaining two passengers were treated and released with minor injuries.

In a prepared statement, OMNI CEO James C. Eckert stated, "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of the passenger who died as a result of this accident. We extend our sympathy to the families, co-workers and friends of all those touched by this loss."

He added that the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating the accident. An internal review of the incident indicates the accident was not the result of a mechanical failure.

"It appears that on final approach to the designated safe landing area, the main rotor blade of the helicopter struck a piece of equipment temporarily placed on the platform," Eckert said, adding, "We intend to cooperate fully with the NTSB and will await the final results of their investigation of the incident."

Headquartered in Carencro, La., OMNI Energy offers transportations services to oil and gas companies operating in the shallow, offshore waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

About the Author

Sandy Smith

Sandy Smith is the former content director of EHS Today, and is currently the EHSQ content & community lead at Intelex Technologies Inc. She has written about occupational safety and health and environmental issues since 1990.

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