Worker Still Missing After Louisiana Rig Explosion
Around 7 PM Sunday night, a rig exploded on Lake Pontchartrain in Jefferson Parish. Originally reported as an oil rig, the natural gas storage rig may have exploded due to the ignition of cleaning chemicals during routine maintenance work (according to officials). The explosion injured seven, leaving two workers in the burn unit at Baton Rouge. As of Monday afternoon, search and rescue efforts are being conducted for a worker who is still missing from the blast.
Sheriff Joe Lopinto of Jefferson Parish vowed to continue the search efforts for “as long as it takes” to find the missing worker. The identity of the worker has not been released. Four of the seven workers who were injured in the blast are reportedly in stable condition.
As far as the damage on the rig, rescue workers were able to shut down the main gas line as of this morning. “We have control of the situation at this time,” Lopinto said.
An Explosion That Was Felt a Mile Away
At 7:18 PM last night, local law enforcement were flooded with calls from residents in Kenner on the shore of Lake Pontchartrain. Residents experienced a massive sonic boom created by the displaced air in the explosion. Some claimed to have been knocked out of their couch from 10 blocks away.
The exact cause of the explosion is unclear—but now that the gas line has been shut down, officials will soon be on the rig and conducting a thorough investigation. The rig is owned by Clovelly Oil Co., and it's located a little over a mile from Kenner, Louisiana. The company is based in New Orleans and operates in 3 counties throughout the state, according to their website.