On Sunday night, an oil rig storage platform exploded in Lake Pontchartrain, severely injuring seven people
The explosion took place soon after 7 p.m. close to St. Charles Parish and the city of Kenner. Joe Lopinto, sheriff of Jefferson Parish, said during a news conference that seven people were injured and taken to the hospital.
“We believe that there is still one unaccounted for, although we are dealing with subcontractors and we’re trying to get names of everybody to make sure,” Sheriff Lopinto said, adding that officials were “treating it as a search and rescue at this point.”
Fortunately, there were no deaths recorded after the incident.
The director of emergency medical services at East Jefferson Medical Hospital, Mike Guillot, reported that five people were in a critical condition, suffering from “blast-type injuries and burns,” whilst other two were stable but in shock.
The cause of the blast is still under investigations, but “authorities on the scene report that cleaning chemicals ignited on the surface of the oil rig platform.”
Users posted on social media descriptions of the explosion, and described it as a powerful blast that shook houses.
However, the mayor of Kenner said that it did not appear that any houses had been damaged by the explosion.
“So our first objective from the firefighting standpoint is we’re trying to stop the oil flow if there’s any, and at that point we’re going to have to cool it and let it burn off.”