Louisiana Oil Rig Explosion Leaves at Least 7 Injured
Update: the rig was originally reported as an oil rig, but some sources report it is actually a natural gas storage rig.
On Sunday night, an oil rig exploded in Lake Pontchartrain in St. Charles Parish, LA. According to the Kenner Police Department spokesman, rescue boats had been dispatched from the Kenner Boat Launch; the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office is assisting. He went on to say there had been “a lot of injuries,” with many being serious.
Five of the injured have been transported to the trauma unit at University Medical Center for treatment of "blast type injuries and burns." Two others were sent to the East Jefferson General Hospital and are reported to be in stable condition. One person is unaccounted for; per the Jefferson Parish Sheriff, it is currently being treated as a “search and rescue.”
Early reports have stated that the rig was owned by Clovelly Oil Co. and was a production platform that is called a “co-mingling facility” where oil is drawn from multiple different fields. Cleaning chemicals are said to have been on the rig, but the exact cause of the explosion is currently unknown.
Nearby residents said there was a massive boom following the incident with some claiming that their house actually shook after the blast. "At first I thought it was a sonic boom or something," said one resident who lived approximately 10 blocks from the blast. Another said of the explosion that it “shook me out of my couch.”
A press conference is scheduled for tomorrow morning at 8 a.m.