The US Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division and the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana have charged three companies and three individuals in connection with the 2012 Gulf of Mexico oil drilling disaster.

The indictment stated that the defendants were involved in various capacities, while construction work was being done on the West Delta 32 platform at the time when it exploded.

Black Elk Energy Offshore Operations, which operates the platform, Grand Isle Shipyards and Wood Group PSN are the companies accused in this incident.

Individuals charged are Don Moss of Groves, Texas, Curtis Dantin of Cut-Off, Louisiana, and Christopher Srubar of Destrehan, Louisiana.

"Workers lives can depend on their employer’s faithfulness to the law."

The explosion that occurred on an oil production platform located at West Delta 32 Block in the Gulf of Mexico, 17 miles south-east of Grand Isle, Louisiana, killed three workers and injured others.

Black Elk Energy Offshore Operations and Grand Isle Shipyards have been charged as they did not follow standard safety practices under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) and for violating the Clean Water Act.

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Wood Group PSN, Moss, Dantin and Srubar are charged with felony violations of OCSLA and the Clean Water Act.

The Justice Department Environment and natural Resources Division Assistant Attorney General John Cruden said: "Workers lives can depend on their employer’s faithfulness to the law, not least of all those working in oil and gas production where safety must be a paramount concern.

"The Justice Department is committed to enforcing the nation’s bedrock environmental laws that protect the environment, and the health and safety of all Americans."

EPA Criminal Enforcement Program in Louisiana Assistant Special Agent in Charge Dan Pflaster said: "EPA will continue to work with its law enforcement partners to hold companies fully accountable for illegal conduct and to assure compliance with laws that protect the public and the delicate Gulf Coast ecosystem from harm."

Investigated by the US Department of Interior Office of Inspector General and EPA’s Criminal Investigations Division, the case is being prosecuted by Emily Greenfield of the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana and by Kenneth Nelson of the Environmental Crimes Section of the Department of Justice.