Oil rig explodes off Louisiana coast, several injured

By Ray Downs  |  Oct. 15, 2017 at 11:27 PM
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Oct. 15 (UPI) -- An oil rig exploded Sunday night off the coast of Louisiana, causing several injuries, authorities said.

The explosion occurred in Lake Pontchartrain near St. Charles Parish and North Kenner around 7 p.m. CST. Kenner officials said on Facebook seven crew members were injured and have been transported to a nearby hospital for treatment.

In a press conference, Jefferson Parish COO Keith Conley said one person was still missing.

WWL-TV reported that the U.S. Coast Guard is assisting in rescue efforts with a helicopter and small boat.

The New Orleans Advocate reported that five crew members were in critical condition from blast and burn injuries.

Officials said there could be oil spilling as a result of the explosion.

The cause of the explosion appears to be under investigation but Kenner officials said it appears to be the result of "cleaning chemicals ignited on the surface of the oil rig platform."

The explosion startled people living in the area. Andre Love, 32, told the Times-Picayune that the explosion caused his house to shake.

"At first I thought it was a sonic boom or something, I had no idea what was happening," he said.

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