Oil rig explodes in Louisiana lake, injuries reported

U.S. & World
Oil Rig Explosion Lousiana_357956

Jefferson Parish authorities and others from other parishes respond to an oil rig explosion in Lake Pontchartrain as seen from a staging area near the Treasure Chest Casino in Kenner, La., Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017. (Matthew Hinton/The Advocate via AP)

KENNER, La. (AP) – An oil rig exploded Sunday night in Lake Pontchartrain in St. Charles Parish, a Louisiana police department said.

Kenner Police Department spokesman Sgt. Brian McGregor said Sunday evening that rescue boats are being sent from the Kenner Boat Launch, and that officials with the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office are assisting, The Times-Picayune reported .

There were “a lot of injuries,” many of them serious, with at least six confirmed and more expected, McGregor said.

No deaths have been reported.

Reports came into the Emergency Operations center around 7:15 p.m. of fire and smoke being seen from Lake Pontchartrain, Jefferson Parish spokesman Antwan Harris said in a news release Sunday night.

“Several people have been rescued from the active fire on the rig,” Harris said.

Social media users reported hearing a loud noise on Sunday evening that even rattled some homes.

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

First responders from St. Charles Parish, Jefferson Parish, Kenner, the U.S. Coast Guard, East Jefferson General Hospital EMS and Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries were working on the explosion, Harris said.

The Coast Guard will be conducting a water quality evaluation as well as the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation.

Lake Pontchartrain is north of New Orleans.

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