Worker killed in offshore crane accident near Galveston

A worker at an Energy Resource Technology production platform in the Gulf of Mexico was killed when a crane collapsed at the site, the government confirmed today.

The accident took place Tuesday at the shallow-water oil and gas production platform about 75 miles southeast of Galveston.

According to a report filed with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, at the time of the accident, a crane was lifting a large piece of equipment from the platform and loading it to a work boat. The agency said that an apparent failure of the boom hoist cable caused the crane to collapse — and that in turn set off a series of events that ended when the employee was fatally struck by the crane’s harness.

At the time of the accident, there was no oil and gas production taking place. The worker killed in the crane collapse has not been identified.

Federal inspectors with the ocean energy bureau were at the site yesterday and are investigating the incident.

Ocean Energy Bureau Director Michael Bromwich called the accident “tragic.”

“This incident provides the most dramatic possible reminder of what is at stake as we work with industry to ensure the highest safety standards on offshore facilities and do everything possible to minimize the risk of such accidents,” Bromwich said in a statement.

Energy Resource Technology is a subsidiary of Houston-based Helix Energy Solutions Group. Helix holds the lease at the site.

“We are working with the BOEMRE and the Coast Guard to determine the root cause of the accident,” said Helix spokesman Cameron Wallace. “The ultimate goal is to ensure this doesn’t happen again.”