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Oil rig blast on Louisiana lake leaves man missing, 7 people hurt

17 October 2017

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.

The Coast Guard was being aided by St. John and St. Charles parishes, Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, the City of Kenner, the Jefferson Parish East Bank Consolidated Fire Department and East Jefferson Hospital. A Coast Guard helicopter, along with Coast Guard vessels and boats from local agencies, continued looking for the missing worker.

The platform, which is a storage and transfer structure for oil wells on the lake, was still burning, Jefferson Parish Sheriff Joe Lopinto said at a press conference late Sunday.

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

Officials said one person was believed to be unaccounted for.

Mike Guillot, director of emergency medical services at East Jefferson General Hospital, said five of the victims were brought to the trauma center with "blast type injuries and burns".

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.

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

The Deputy head of the administration of Jefferson parish also reported that the incident injured seven people.

Andrew Love, 32, told the newspaper he was inside his house about 10 blocks away when he heard the explosion.

To the scene, where still you can see the flames, sent the boat with the rescuers.

Authorities searched by air and water Monday for a contractor who disappeared when an oil and gas platform exploded on a lake near New Orleans.

The Coast Guard will be conducting a water quality evaluation as well as the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation.

Oil rig blast on Louisiana lake leaves man missing, 7 people hurt