Lake Pontchartrain oil platform fire extinguished; search continues for missing worker

BREAKING NEWS: One person missing and at least seven injured after oil rig explodes in a Louisiana lake

One person still was reported missing at midday Monday and seven people were injured after an oil and natural gas storage transfer platform exploded Sunday night in Lake Pontchartrain near Kenner, LA.

The Coast Guard was being aided by St. John and St. Charles parishes, Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, the City of Kenner, the Jefferson Parish East Bank Consolidated Fire Department and East Jefferson Hospital.

The Coast Guard New Orleans Division along with the Kenner Police Department and several other local agencies are responding to a fire on a platform in Lake Pontchartrain in the Kenner area.

The company that owns an oil and gas platform that exploded says a contract worker is missing, and three company employees and four contractors are injured.

McGregor said there were "a lot of injuries" with at least six confirmed and more expected. "We are treating it as having one person unaccounted for and treating it as a search and rescue".

Mike Guillot, director of emergency medical services at East Jefferson General Hospital, said five of the victims were brought to the trauma center with "blast type injuries and burns".

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Reports indicate the explosion happened around 7pm Sunday night.

Jefferson Parish officials say there were cleaning chemicals aboard the platform but do not know the exact cause of the fire at this time.

Authorities acknowledged there was a possibility that the fire meant oil could be leaking into the lake, but noted that Jefferson Parish drinking water will remain safe because it is pulled from the Mississippi River.

We're told the explosion could be heard as far away as Hahnville and Destrehan.

Residents along the shores of the lake said their homes shook about 7:15 p.m.

The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality was on scene conducting water quality testing; no oil sheen was seen on the waters in preliminary tests.

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