One missing, seven injured in Louisiana oil rig explosion
16 October 2017
One person is missing and seven have been hospitalised after an oil rig explosion and fire in Lake Pontchartrain, north of New Orleans, late on October 15. Officials at a news conference said all those injured in the explosion were either on the rig or an adjacent barge and that cleaning operations were being undertaken on the rig at the time of the blast.
The US Coast Guard said it was searching for one man who was unaccounted for.
Local officials said authorities on scene believe the explosion was caused by cleaning chemicals that ignited on the surface of the oil rig.
EMS officials said five taken to University Medical Center in New Orleans were being treated for blast-type injuries and burns and were in critical condition. Two others taken to East Jefferson General Hospital were said to be in stable condition.
The rig is operated by Clovelly Oil Co. and is used for the transfer of oil, a fire service spokesman said, adding that oil could possibly leaking into Lake Pontchartrain. The Coast Guard said it would be conducting a water quality evaluation.