Believed Missing, 7 Injured in Louisiana Oil Rig Explosion

Lousiana

Patrick Courreges at the Department of Natural Resources said the platform is a production platform called a co-mingling facility where Clovelly draws oil from several different oil fields.

The Times-Picayune is reporting that an oil rig exploded in Lake Pontchartrain on Sunday evening near St. Charles Parish and north Kenner.

What caused the blast is unclear, but fire investigators are looking at the possibility of a combination of chemicals that may have ignited on the platform and led to the explosion.

Jefferson Parish's water supply comes from the Mississippi River and no drinking water comes from Lake Pontchartrain, Yenni said.

Coast Guard Sector New Orleans received a report from a witness at approximately 8 p.m. of an oil platform explosion.

Andrew Love, 32, told the newspaper he was inside his house about 10 blocks away when he heard the explosion. "At first I thought it was a sonic boom or something, I had no idea what was happening". Some reported that the air smelled of burning rubber.

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Five workers were transported to University Medical Center with injuries ranging from burns to "blasts". Authorities say there has been no reports of building damage on shore.

Clovelly Oil Co. owns the platform, said Taylor Darden, a lawyer for the company listed as its registered agent with the Louisiana Secretary of State.

Authorities have not released the name of the missing worker, but said they have contacted the person's family.

The platform is a storage and accumulation point for oil and gas from a number of wells, company spokesman Tim O'Leary said. "It gathers oil from three nearby wells". Once the tank is filled, the oil or gas is pumped into a barge and moved.

The platform is located in Jefferson Parish. The Coast Guard said there was no sign of pollution in the lake.

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