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An oil rig exploded on Sunday evening in Lake Pontchartrain just north of New Orleans, leaving 7 people injured, one missing, and crude oil possibly leaking into the lake, authorities say.
The Coast Guard said Sunday evening that it was coordinating search efforts for a missing man after an explosion on an oil platform in Lake Pontchartrain. One of the platform workers has said that eight people were aboard at the time of the explosion, and one person did not make it to shore. Of the seven people who made it to shore, six were taken to the hospital, the Coast Guard said, adding that the cause of the incident is yet unknown.
Louisiana authorities said that seven people were injured, five of them critically.
According to Michael Guillot, director of East Jefferson Emergency Medical Services, five people were initially taken to a trauma center and were listed in critical condition with “blast type injuries and burns.”
“We have an oilfield platform that is currently burning, it’s a platform that’s used for the transfer of oil, there’s a number of wells in that location and the oil is transferred at that point. So our first objective from the firefighting standpoint is we’re trying to stop the oil flow if there’s any and at that point we have to cool it and let it burn off,” Fire Chief David Tibbets of the East Bank Consolidated Fire Department said.
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Clovelly Oil Co owns the platform that is in production, Taylor Darden, a lawyer for the company told the AP.
In an update on the rig explosion, the City of Kenner Government posted on its Facebook page that “Authorities on the scene report that cleaning chemicals ignited on the surface of the oil rig platform. Seven crew members were rescued and are being treated at local hospitals.”
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.