Name of burn victim from Gulf platform fire released

Advocate staff photo by LIBBY ISENHOWER --  Dr. Jeffrey Littleton, burn surgeon and chair of the Department of Surgery at Baton Rouge General Medical Center, speaks to media Sunday morning outside the hospital's Mid City campus. Littleton released the name of one of the four burn victims, Wilberto Ilagan, who is in fair condition and consented to the release of his name. Littleton was joined by Dr. Flip Roberts, Baton Rouge general's chief medical officer, left, and Liz Spreen, burn center clinician, RN, BSN, PCCN. Show caption
Advocate staff photo by LIBBY ISENHOWER -- Dr. Jeffrey Littleton, burn surgeon and chair of the Department of Surgery at Baton Rouge General Medical Center, speaks to media Sunday morning outside the hospital's Mid City campus. Littleton released the name of one of the four burn victims, Wilberto Ilagan, who is in fair condition and consented to the release of his name. Littleton was joined by Dr. Flip Roberts, Baton Rouge general's chief medical officer, left, and Liz Spreen, burn center clinician, RN, BSN, PCCN.

Baton Rouge General Medical Center officials released on Sunday the name of one of the victims burned Friday in the fire on an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico.

Wilberto Ilagan, 50, has “demonstrated significant progress and is now in fair condition” since he and three other victims arrived in Baton Rouge for medical care, said Dr. Jeffrey Littleton, a burn surgeon and Surgery Department chairman at Baton Rouge General.

Littleton, in a news conference at Baton Rouge General Medical Center-Mid City, read a prepared statement from Ilagan.

“To my relatives and my family and my country, I am alive and in good health. I am burned, but my heart and lungs are healthy,” Ilagan said, according to Littleton.

The other three victims have not consented to the release of their names, Littleton said.

Two of them remain in critical condition, and one is in serious condition, Littleton said.

All four are men and from the Philippines, Littleton said.

The men are continuing on a “normal course of treatment,” and their recovery will take weeks, Littleton said.

“We are careful and hopefully optimistic that these patients will continue to improve,” Littleton said. “They, however, are still in critical condition, and we are moving forward with the ongoing medical care.”

The fire ignited Friday when workers were using a torch to cut an oil line on a platform, which is owned by the Houston company Black Elk Energy. The platform is located about 20 miles southeast of Grand Isle.

The four burned workers are employees of oil field contractor Grand Isle Shipyard.

Hospital officials are working with Grand Isle Shipyard to communicate to the victims’ families about their conditions, Littleton said.

The Associated Press
contributed to this report.