Six injured, one missing in Louisiana oil
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[October 16, 2017]
By Gary McWilliams
HOUSTON (Reuters) - One worker is missing
and six are injured after an oil production platform operated by a New
Orleans company exploded and caught fire in Louisiana's Lake
Pontchartrain late on Sunday, authorities said.
The platform is operated by Clovelly Oil Co, confirmed Donald
Mackenroth, a Clovelly vice president reached by phone. He said the
cause of the explosion and fire was not clear, and declined to comment
on the number of workers on the platform.
"We've got a bunch of people at the hospital; we don't yet know the
extent of their injuries," he said.
The U.S. Coast Guard and local authorities were using boats and a
helicopter to search the lake for the missing worker, said Coast Guard
Petty Officer Alexandria Preston. Names of the missing or injured were
There were eight people on the oil platform at the time, she said; one
was uninjured. What caused the explosion and fire has not been
determined, she said.
Fire officials were still trying to extinguish the blaze late on Sunday,
Police were notified of a loud explosion about 7:18 p.m. local time by
residents, and soon after received a call from the platform that a boat
carrying injured was on its way to shore, said Kenner, Louisiana, Police
Lt. Brian McGregor.
The injured on the boat were taken by ambulance to two local hospitals,
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Flames are seen after an explosion at an oil rig in Lake
Pontchartrain, in Louisiana, in this still image taken from social
media video taken October 15, 2017. Roger Fernandez/via REUTERS
Some of the workers suffered severe burns from the fire, he added.
Other details were not immediately available.
East Jefferson General Hospital, which received some of the injured,
declined to comment on the number of treated or on the type or
extent of their injuries.
A WVUE Fox 8 television video posted on Facebook showed an
industrial structure ablaze with smoke as lights flashed nearby.
Clovelly is the only oil company operating in Lake Pontchartrain,
according to its former president, Harald Werner. It has two or
three active oil and gas wells at the site, he said.
(Reporting by Apeksha Nair in Bengaluru, India, Ian Simpson in
Washington and Gary McWilliams in Houston.; Editing by Peter Cooney,
Michael Perry and Jacqueline Wong)
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