Oil rig explodes in Louisiana lake Sunday night

Oil rig explodes in Kenner  Courtesy Roger Fernandez

Jefferson Parish spokesperson Antwan Harris said, first responders from St. Charles Parish, Jefferson Parish, Kenner, the U.S. Coast Guard, East Jefferson General Hospital EMS and Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries are working the oil rig explosion north west of Treasure Chest Casino.

WWL is also reporting that according to government officials, cleaning chemicals ignited on the surface of the platform.

Kenner Police Department spokesman Sgt. Brian McGregor said numerous injuries were serious. NOLA.com reveals that, of those who were hurt, five are in critical condition.

No fatalities had been reported Sunday night.

Harris said, the Coast Guard as well as the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation will be conducting a water quality evaluation. However, NOLA.com adds that Jefferson Parish's drinking water (which comes from the Mississippi River) shouldn't be affected, although oil could still be leaking into the lake. "Bayou Gauche Fire Department and a good Samaritan vessel are on scene fighting the fire, which has been reduced substantially".

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The Times-Picayune reports that Kenner Police Department spokesman Sgt. Brian McGregor said Sunday evening that rescue boats are being sent from the Kenner Boat Launch, and that officials with the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office are assisting.

An oil rig exploded Sunday night off the coast of Louisiana, causing several injuries, authorities said.

A Facebook update posted to St. Charles Parish's page noted authorities with the Emergency Operations Center are "aware that an oil rig is now on fire in Lake Pontchartrain and that it caused the loud sound earlier tonight".

Several boats and a helicopter are now conducting a search and rescue mission as there is one more person possibly on the rig.

Several witnesses told Eyewitness News they heard a big boom and their houses shook following the incident.

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