Louisiana Oil Rig Explosion Leaves Multiple People Injured

A production platform exploded in Lake Pontchartrain

An oil rig on Lake Pontchartrain exploded on Sunday night in Kenner, Louisiana, home of the Louis Armstrong International Airport and only a few miles from New Orleans.

Rescue teams stopped the search for Timothy Morrison, 44, from Katy, Texas, after a day of looking through the damaged rig, which officials said was hard due to unreachable areas covered by twisted metal, insufficient equipment and strong winds.

Clovelly alone has storage space for 50 million barrels of oil on Lake Pontchartrain, according to Offshore Magazine. Morrison was a resident of Katy, Texas, west of Houston. The search for Morrison has been suspended.

"The decision to suspend a search is never an easy one", Coast Guard Cmdr.

O'Leary said the eight workers on the platform were a mix of Clovelly employees and contractor workers. The Coast Guard said that the person missing is a man and his name is not being released at this time.

Lopinto said that "cleaning" work on the structure could pertain to the processing of gas.

Rescue officials are rushing to an oil rig that exploded in Lake Ponchartrain Sunday night. Nor could he say how the workers were removed from the platform or what caused the fire. Details of what happened on the platform are still to be determined, he said on Monday.

Flames could be seen from the area and the air smelled of burning rubber, according to the newspaper.

Andrew Love, who lives near the explosion, told The Times-Picayune that his "house actually shook". "At first I thought it was a sonic boom or something, I had no idea what was happening".

Lopinto said no reports of structural damage to any homes were reported.

Five of the injured suffered "blast-type injuries and burns", Mike Guillot, director of East Jefferson Emergency Medical Services, told reporters Sunday.

The Deputy head of the administration of Jefferson parish also reported that the incident injured seven people.

The platform is used to transfer and store oil and natural gas from nearby wells, the officials said.

The Coast Guard said there was no sign of pollution in the lake.

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