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Change-of-plea hearing set in deadly 2013 offshore fire

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Federal criminal charges filed against an energy company over a deadly 2012 offshore oil platform fire may be headed for a resolution.

Three Filipino workers died in the Nov. 16, 2012, fire on the platform operated by Black Elk Energy Offshore Operations.

Black Elk has pleaded not guilty in the case. However, court records show that a change-of-plea hearing is set for April 26, and that prosecutors and Black Elk’s lawyers jointly requested an order enabling Black Elk to enter a new plea.

Neither the U.S. Attorney’s Office nor an attorney for Black Elk immediately responded to requests for details Monday.

Charges against Black Elk include three counts of involuntary manslaughter. The company also faces charges arising from alleged safety and environmental violations.

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