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17 October 2017, 12:54 | Jenny Fowler
Oil rig explodes in Louisiana lake Sunday night
Lake Pontchartrain is about 30 minutes north of North Orleans. Two other people were taken to a hospital in Metairie and discharged overnight.
The Coast Guard says the fire is out at an oil and gas transfer platform that exploded in flames Sunday evening, and there's no sign of pollution from the accident.
Police are not releasing the names of any of the victims at this time, but so far there are no reports of any fatalities.
A statement from Clovelly Oil said three oil wells near the platform were shut in at the time of the explosion and its one gas well was flowing, but was successfully shut-in shortly after the explosion.
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.
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Jefferson Parish officials say there were cleaning chemicals aboard the platform but do not know the exact cause of the fire at this time.
The Coast Guard said it was still coordinating search efforts for the missing worker.
The Coast Guard will be conducting a water quality evaluation, as will the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation. There is no active drilling on the lake, according to Jean Kelly of the state environmental department. The Sheriff of Jefferson Parish, Joseph P. Lopinto, III, said during a press conference late Sunday night that the one person unaccounted for is being treated as a search and rescue. Arson investigators will determine the cause after the fire has burned out.
The rig is operated by CLOVELLY Oil, The New Orleans Advocate. The platform is located in shallow water about a mile and a half from the Kenner boat launch.
Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, Jefferson County Parish and St. Charles Parish also have marine units on scene assisting.
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