7 rescued, 1 missing after platform fire in Lake Pontchartrain

A production platform exploded in Lake Pontchartrain

An explosion on an oil rig storage platform on Lake Pontchartrain in Louisiana Sunday night has left seven people injured and an eighth person missing as of Monday morning, according to local authorities. Six people are reported injured, and there have been no fatalities reported yet.

"My house actually shook", Andrew Love, 32, told NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune.

Rescue workers climbed onto the rig to turn off the gas line, despite the intense heat.

Patrick Courreges at the Department of Natural Resources said the platform is a production platform called a co-mingling facility where Clovelly draws oil from several different oil fields.

A statement from Clovelly Oil said three oil wells near the platform were shut in at the time of the explosion and its one gas well was flowing, but was successfully shut-in shortly after the explosion. Some reported that the air smelled of burning rubber. "At first I thought it was a sonic boom or something, I had no idea what was happening".

Five of them were taken to medical center at the University, and two more were taken to hospital in Jefferson County. Authorities say there has been no reports of building damage on shore.

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Authorities have not released the name of the missing worker, but said they have contacted the person's family.

A fourth well, for natural gas, also feeds the platform, O'Leary said. Once the tank is filled, the oil or gas is pumped into a barge and moved.

The explosion was in Jefferson Parish water, but the rig itself is located in unincorporated Jefferson Parish.

Officials said Jefferson Parish drinking water will remain safe because it is pulled from the Mississippi River.

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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