Crews Still Looking For Man After Louisiana Oil Rig Blast
KENNER, La. - Rescuers are searching for one person after an oil rig exploded on a lake in Louisiana, injuring seven others.
Jefferson Parish spokesman Antwan Harris said in a news release that reports of fire and smoke being seen from Lake Pontchartrain came into the Emergency Operations center about 7:15 p.m. Sunday.
Chief David Tibbets of the East Bank Consolidated Fire Department says the platform, located in Jefferson Parish, is used for the transfer of oil. He said the department's current goal is to stop oil flow and, if needed, let it burn off safely.
U.S. Coast Guard crews hoped to get a helicopter into the air as dawn broke Monday in their ongoing search for the man.
Coast Guard Petty Officer Lexie Preston said that was the plan early Monday morning. She said the helicopter crew also would look to spot any sign of pollution on Lake Pontchartrain, if there is any.
Kenner city officials said authorities at the scene reported that cleaning chemicals ignited on the surface of the oil rig platform, causing the blast Sunday night. At least seven people were injured, five of them critically.
Authorities said Jefferson Parish drinking water will remain safe because it is pulled from the Mississippi River and not the lake.