Oil platform explodes on Lake Pontchartrain near Kenner

A production platform exploded in Lake Pontchartrain

A Louisiana sheriff says three people remain in critical condition, with two of them in a burn unit after an explosion on an oil and gas platform on a lake near New Orleans. A Coast Guard helicopter, along with Coast Guard vessels and boats from local agencies, continued looking for the missing worker.

The platform is operated by Clovelly Oil Co, Donald Mackenroth, a Clovelly vice president reached by phone, said.

"Authorities on the scene report that cleaning chemicals ignited on the surface of the oil rig platform", the City of Kenner Government posted on its Facebook page Sunday evening. "We are treating it as a search and rescue", Lopinto said.

The seven injured people were taken to the hospital.

It was also unclear but likely that oil was spilling into Lake Pontchartrain, said Chief Dave Tibbits of the East Bay Consolidated Fire Department.

East Jefferson General Hospital, which received some of the injured, declined to comment on the number of treated or on the type or extent of their injuries.




The U.S. Coast Guard and other authorities were investigating the cause of the explosion, which was first was reported around 7:15 p.m. Sunday. He said the department's current goal is to stop oil flow and, if needed, let it burn off safely.

To the scene, where still you can see the flames, sent the boat with the rescuers.

Authorities acknowledged there was a possibility that the fire meant oil could be leaking into the lake, but officials pointed out to WWL that the platform isn't a drilling rig and is only used to store oil until it can be transported to land.

Social media users reported hearing a loud noise on Sunday evening that even rattled some homes.

A statement from the New Orleans company says a natural gas well was feeding the tank at the time of the explosion, which occurred during maintenance.

'The Coast Guard and Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation will conduct water quality testing.

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