An oil field explosion on a rig located in Lake Pontchartrain in Louisiana has caused serious concerns, as local police search for one man who is missing and have taken multiple others to local hospitals. According to Kenner Police Department spokesman Sergeant Brian McGregor, the explosion took place on the night of Sunday, October 15th, and rescue boats have been searching ever since. McGregor said that there were at least seven people who were confirmed as injured, and that number is expected to grow. So far there have been no fatalities reported.
According to social media accounts of what happened on Sunday night, the first sign of the oil field explosion was a loud boom that rattled windows and shook homes. The source was a production platform that mingles oils drawn from a number of different oil fields. The rig is owned by Clovelly Oil Company and is located north west of a local casino.. After the sound and explosion, there were additional reports of fire and smoke rising from Lake Pontchartrain, and Jefferson Parish spokesman Antwan Harris released a statement which read, “Several people have been rescued from the active fire on the rig.”
Initial Information from Oil Field Explosion is Sparse
Though local residents reported that they were able to see smoke and flames rising from the area of the oil field explosion and that there was a strong smell of burning rubber, little more is known at this point. Some reports have indicated that the explosion occurred when leaning chemicals were ignited.
First responders from several parishes are working on putting out the flames and on the search and rescue mission, as well as the U.S. Coast Guard and representatives from the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries. Reports from the hospitals indicated that five of the injured people had suffered “blast type injuries and burns” and were in critical condition. In addition to searching for the missing man via helicopter, the police are also monitoring the area for any signs of pollution, as authorities have indicated that there is a strong chance that oil may be leaking into the lake. Though local drinking water comes from the Mississippi River rather than from Lake Pontchartrain, the water quality will be tested soon.