A natural gas rig exploded on Sunday evening in Lake Pontchartrain, leaving seven injured and one person missing.
Ben Zahn, the mayor of nearby Kenner, said no homes were threatened.
Still come claimed their houses shook from the blast.
“The Coast Guard resumed searching the choppy waters of Lake Pontchartrain for a worker Monday who went missing when a Louisiana storage rig exploded with such power it rattled houses in towns more than a mile away with a sonic boom,” reported NBC.
Andrew Love, 32, said he was inside his house about 10 blocks away when he heard the explosion. “My house actually shook,” he said, according to the Times-Picayune. “At first I thought it was a sonic boom or something, I had no idea what was happening.”
Stacy Oddo, was in her home near East Jefferson Hospital on Sunday evening when she said she heard the explosion.
“It was a loud ‘boom.'” she said. “I thought it was a car accident or something.”
“Authorities on the scene report that cleaning chemicals ignited on the surface of the oil rig platform,” the City of Kenner Government posted on its Facebook page Sunday evening, and would later confirm that it was not an oil rig, but a natural gas rig.
Picture of Natural Gas Platform Explosion From Woodlake Estates
The Associated Press reports:
Kenner Police Department spokesman Sgt. Brian McGregor said Sunday evening that rescue boats were being sent and officials with the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office were assisting, The Times-Picayune reported .
There were “a lot of injuries,” many of them serious, with at least seven confirmed and more expected, McGregor said.
Five of the injured were taken to University Medical Center with “blast type injuries and burns” and are in critical condition, said Mike Guillot, director of East Jefferson Emergency Medical Services. The other two are in stable condition at East Jefferson General Hospital. Search and rescue efforts were continuing as of Sunday night. No deaths were immediately reported.
Reports came into the Emergency Operations center around 7:15 p.m. of fire and smoke being seen from Lake Pontchartrain, Jefferson Parish spokesman Antwan Harris said in a news release Sunday night.
“Several people have been rescued from the active fire on the rig,” Harris said.
Five of the injured were taken to University Medical Center with “blast type injuries and burns” and are in critical condition. The other two are in stable condition at East Jefferson General Hospital. Search and rescue efforts were continuing as of Monday morning, ABC reported.
The Coast Guard continued to search for the missing worker, who was unidentified.
Sheriff Joe Lopinto of Jefferson Parish said they have been in touch with the worker’s family since the blast on Sunday and said they would look for him for “as long as it takes.”
“The family needs to grieve and we need time to find him,” said Lopinto, who did not identify the worker or his family.
The full details of what caused the explosion are unknown at this time, but believe that the blast may have been triggered by cleaning chemicals on the platform ignited during some kind of maintenance work.
Officials earlier described it as an oil rig, but it is a natural gas storage rig.
Clovelly Oil Co. owns the platform that is in production, according to Taylor Darden, a lawyer for the company.
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