Louisiana Oil Rig Explosion Leaves Multiple People Injured

Lucy Bush
October 17, 2017

The search continued for a worker missing from an oil production platform in Louisiana's Lake Pontchartrain that exploded and caught fire late Sunday, sending six others to hospital with injuries, the U.S. Coast Guard said. The Coast Guard New Orleans Division says they have a small boat and helicopter on site.

Patrick Courreges at the Department of Natural Resources confirmed to Eyewitness News reporter David Hammer that the owner of the platform is Clovelly Oil Co., based on Poydras Street. The Kenner government Facebook page said authorities on the scene reported that cleaning chemicals had ignited on the structure, but the company said the cause of the blast was unknown.

There were at least eight people on the platform and on a nearby supply vessel at the time, officials said. "We are treating it as a search and rescue", Lopinto said.

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Officials said that five injured men had been transported to a level one trauma center in critical condition, and two had been hospitalized in stable condition.

And while the fire department in Jefferson Parish attempted to contain the damage, authorities acknowledged oil could now be leaking into the lake.

But arson investigators will determine the cause of the explosion after the fire has burned out, reports WWL. He said the department's current goal is to stop oil flow and, if needed, let it burn off safely.

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Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, Jefferson County Parish and St. Charles Parish also have marine units on scene assisting.

We're told the explosion could be heard as far away as Hahnville and Destrehan.

"The good news is that the platform is close to shore and Lake Pontchartrain is shallow and the lake is calm and there are no winds", said Carlton Dufrechou, director of the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, at the press conference.

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The Coast Guard will be conducting a water quality evaluation as well as the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation.

Other reports by Info About Network

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