At least 6 injured as oil rig explodes on Lake Pontchartrain in Louisiana

KENNER, La. (AP/KLFY) — A Louisiana police department says an oil rig has exploded in Lake Pontchartrain in St. Charles Parish.

The Times-Picayune reports that 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.

McGregor says there were “a lot of injuries” with at least six confirmed and more expected.

He says many of the injuries were serious. No deaths have been reported.

Video from the scene showed a large fire out on the lake with some of the rig visible in light from the flames.

Social media users reported hearing a loud noise around 7:45 p.m. Sunday that even rattled some homes.

“I heard a big boom,” WWL’s Emile Gauthier said. “Something blew up in the lake.”

Kenner Police, Jefferson Parish Fire and the US Coast Guard responded.

Jefferson Parish Fire officials said the explosion happened northwest of the Treasure Chest Casino. Initial indications are it was a natural gas platform in the lake.

Gauthier said there were dozens of emergency units at the Williams Boat Launch.

Residents living near the lakefront report also hearing a loud noise, windows rattling and the ground shaking.

Lake Pontchartrain is 21 miles (34 kilometers) north of New Orleans.

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