Bangladeshi oil worker dies in Mexico hospital

ANTONIO VILLEGAS - Associated Press
September 12, 2011
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A fisherman casts his net into the waters of Chachalaca Beach, in the gulf coast state of Veracruz, Mexico, Saturday Sept. 10, 2011. Tropical Storm Nate is headed west, threatening new areas of Mexico's gulf coast where hurricane conditions are expected by early Sunday afternoon. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)

CIUDAD DEL CARMEN, Mexico (AP) — A Bangladeshi oil worker has died in the hospital after being rescued from three days drifting in the Gulf of Mexico, Mexico's state oil company said Monday.

An official for Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, said Kham Nadimuzzaman of Bangladesh died Sunday night.

The official could not be named because he was not authorized to speak to the news media.

Nadimuzzaman was among 10 missing oil workers, seven of whom were found alive Sunday, three days after evacuating their disabled rig in a tropical storm and escaping in an enclosed life raft.

Two bodies also were found but have yet to be identified. Rescuers are searching for one worker of the original 10 who remains missing.

The official said Nadimuzzaman arrived to the hospital in very grave condition. The other survivors are stable, he said.

Pemex identified the other survivors as two U.S. citizens, Jeremy Parfait and Ted Derise, Jr., both of Louisiana; and Mexicans Ruben Velasquez, Eleaquin Lopez, Luis Escobar and Ruben Lopez Villalobos.

They were found 50 miles (80 kilometers) off the coast of the Gulf state of Campeche by the ship Bourbon Artavaze and taken by helicopter to the Campeche port city of Ciudad del Carmen, where they were admitted to a Pemex regional hospital.

The fate of the other two Americans, identified previously as Louisiana residents Craig Myers and Nick Reed, was still not clear Monday.

The Mexican navy said four survivors and one of the dead were found in a boat, while three other survivors and a body were found in the water.

All were working for Houston-based Geokinetics Inc. on a liftboat owned by Trinity Liftboat Services based in New Iberia, Louisiana. All four U.S. citizens were from the New Iberia area, including Reed, who is the son of liftboat company owner Randy Reed.

The oil workers called for help Thursday afternoon in the middle of Tropical Storm Nate, which disabled their vessel, the Trinity II, a 94-foot (29-meter), 185-ton liftboat, that can lower legs to the sea floor and then elevate itself above the water level. It was being used as a recording vessel and housing for the crew, and it was in waters about 25 feet (8 meters) deep.

They abandoned the liftboat about eight miles (13 kilometers) offshore of the port of Frontera in the southeastern Mexican state of Tabasco.

Pemex and the Mexican navy led the search by air and sea, which intensified Saturday as the storm moved west toward the coast of Veracruz state. A dozen fishermen also disappeared aboard two shrimp boats in the Gulf during the storm Friday.

Pemex said the search for the oil workers continued with four boats, four Pemex helicopters and two airplanes making overflights.