Filipino worker killed in offshore fire identified

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - As crews search for a worker still missing after an oil platform explosion and fire, doctors said one of the four men burned in the fire is improving.

Hospital officials released the identity of one of the victims as Wilberto Ilagen, 50. Doctors upgraded Ilagan to fair condition Sunday.

"We are careful and hopefully optimistic that these patients will continue to improve," said Dr. Jeffrey Littleton, a burn surgeon at Baton Rouge General Hospital. "They are all still in critical condition and we are moving forward with the ongoing medical care."

Doctors say Ilagan did pass on a message.  They say he wanted his countrymen to pray for them and a quick recovery.

Two other workers remain in critical condition, while one is listed in serious condition.

Jose Cuisia Jr., the Philippine Ambassador to the United States, is also in Baton Rouge to monitor the men and their conditions.

"On behalf of the government of the Republic of Philippines, I would like to express my gratitude to the medical team here at Baton Rouge General for taking care of the four nationals who were injured in last Friday's incident in the Gulf of Mexico," said Cuisia Jr.

Search crews retrieved the body of one of the missing workers over the weekend, while another man is still missing.

According to the Associated Press, the embassy of the Philippines in Washington has released the identity of a worker killed in the explosion.

In a news release on the embassy website, he was identified as 42-year-old Elroy Corporal.

Meanwhile, the embassy said it holds out hope that a Filipino worker missing since Friday's accident will be found alive.

Platform owner Black Elk Energy said it planned to take a search-and-rescue dog aboard the platform Monday, to look for the worker.

Also Monday, the National Chemical Safety Board, a government agency, said it has sent a list of questions to Black Elk about evidence and possible witnesses. And it has requested documents relating to safety plans and permits in force at the time of the accident.

The platform is owned by Black Elk Energy. The company said it brought in a second boat to continue the search.

Copyright 2012 WAFB. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.