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Officials give update on platform explosion in Kenner - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

Officials give update on platform explosion in Kenner

Posted: Updated:
Courtesy of The Advocate / Matthew Hinton Courtesy of The Advocate / Matthew Hinton

UPDATE:  The Coast Guard is continuing to coordinate search efforts for a missing man after an explosion on an oil platform in Lake Pontchartrain near Kenner, Monday morning.

The fire on the platform, which is owned by Clovelly Oil Co., has been extinguished, a Coast Guard spokesman said.

Coast Guard sent a helicopter about 7 a.m. to continue searching for the man and to look for any signs of pollution caused by the explosion. No visible signs of pollution were reported, the spokesman said.

The explosion was reported to the Coast Guard Sunday evening.

According to one of the platform workers that eight people were aboard at the time of the explosion, and one person did not make it to shore. The seven people who made it to shore were taken to local hospitals, the spokesman said.

Along with Coast Guard crews, marine units from Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, Jefferson County Parish, and St. Charles Parish were on the scene, as well as firefighters from the Bayou Gauche Fire Department.

The name of the missing man is not being released. The cause of the incident is unknown.

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On Monday morning, Jefferson Parish officials from several departments held a press conference to discuss the circumstances of the explosion that occurred on a platform in Lake Pontchartrain near Kenner.

Last night, 7 people were transported to New Orleans hospitals. Five were taken to the trauma center at the time of the incident. Two platform workers were listed critical condition due to burns and blast injuries. They are still in the hospital at this time, while one other person is in the ICU. Four platform workers were discharged from the hospital Monday morning. Officials did not specify where the workers were from but did say a few were out-of-towners and some were local to the New Orleans area.

The department says they are not sure right now what caused the explosion. Some reports said it was due to chemical supplies, but the investigation is still ongoing at this time. 

Officials say they will continue to search for one person, who has been reported missing after the explosion, for as long as they can. Members of his family have been notified but his identity has not been released.

The platform, as explained by officials, is a natural gas processing platform and there is no danger from any oil entering the lake. A two-inch natural gas pipe is still burning on the platform, but officials say the natural gas line is not a live feed and does not pose any concern.

The platform is located a mile and a half from Kenner and some residents could feel and hear the blast and witness the platform on fire. There were no reports from any residents about injuries or structural damage from the explosion.

Officials say they will have another press conference to update the public at 4:00 p.m.

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