Oil rig on Lake Pontchartrain explodes near Kenner, several injured

BREAKING NEWS: One person missing and at least seven injured after oil rig explodes in a Louisiana lake

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.

One person still was reported missing at midday Monday and seven people were injured after an oil and natural gas storage transfer platform exploded Sunday night in Lake Pontchartrain near Kenner, LA. A Coast Guard helicopter, along with Coast Guard vessels and boats from local agencies, continued looking for the missing worker.

Patrick Courreges at the Department of Natural Resources confirmed to Eyewitness News reporter David Hammer that the owner of the platform is Clovelly Oil Co., based on Poydras Street. And although nobody has yet died, police officials on scene say numerous injuries were serious. According to Jefferson Parish officials, one person is unaccounted for.

"Several people have been rescued from the active fire on the rig", Harris said.

Five of the injured were hospitalized with "blast-type injuries and burns", said Mike Guillot, director of East Jefferson Emergency Medical Services.

The explosion was in Jefferson Parish water, but the rig itself is located in unincorporated Jefferson Parish.

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

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

Rescue boats were sent from the Kenner Boat Launch, with the US Coast Guard and Jefferson's Parish Sheriff's Office assisting in the operation.

The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality was on scene conducting water quality testing; no oil sheen was seen on the waters in preliminary tests.

Sheriff Joe Lopinto of Jefferson Parish said that the search of Lake Pontchartrain would continue for "as long as it takes".

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