Coast Guard Responds to Oil Platform Blast

Coast Guard Responds to Oil Platform Blast

Coast Guard Responds to Oil Platform Blast

The accident injured seven people. We do know that seven crew members were rescued from the rig and taken to the hospital. The Coast Guard New Orleans Division says they have a small boat and helicopter on site.

Five of the victims, including the missing man, are contract workers.

Spokesman Tim O'Leary said the platform is a collection point for oil and gas from several wells.

During a news conference about 8 a.m. local time, the sheriff said aside from the eight people, there were additional people near the area at the time of the blast. The statement said the company's three oil wells were shut in at the time, and the flow from the gas well was cut off after the explosion.

'The Coast Guard and Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation will conduct water quality testing. Two of the three people in critical condition were in a burn unit, Guilot said.

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Jefferson Parish's water supply comes from the Mississippi River and no drinking water comes from Lake Pontchartrain, Yenni said.

Lopinto said there were no reports of structural damage to any homes. There is no active drilling on the lake, according to Jean Kelly of the state environmental department.

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. Nor could he say how the workers were removed from the platform or what caused the fire.

The Clovelly Oil Co. platform exploded Sunday night while maintenance was being done on the structure, sending a fireball high into the night sky, authorities and company officials said.

It was also unclear but likely that oil was spilling into Lake Pontchartrain, said Chief Dave Tibbits of the East Bay Consolidated Fire Department.

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