Oil rig explosion near New Orleans injures at least 6

Oil rig explodes in Kenner  Courtesy Roger Fernandez

Oil rig explodes in Kenner Courtesy Roger Fernandez

Multiple people were injured Sunday night when an oil rig exploded in Lake Pontchartrain in Louisiana, officials said.

No fatalities were reported as of 8 p.m., but Kenner Police officials say numerous injuries were serious.

The New Orleans Advocate reported that five crew members are in critical condition from blast and burn injuries. No deaths have been reported.

A spokesman for the St. Charles Parish posted to Facebook that the Emergency Operations Center is aware of the fire and is responding to the incident.

Residents said they heard an explosion from several miles away and the Coast Guard is on the scene.

The platform, which is a storage and transfer structure for oil wells on the lake, was still burning, Jefferson Parish Sheriff Joe Lopinto said at a press conference late Sunday.

Officials said there could be oil spilling as a result of the explosion.

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

Authorities acknowledged there was a possibility that the fire meant oil could be leaking into the lake, but noted that Jefferson Parish drinking water will remain safe because it is pulled from the Mississippi River.

Jefferson Parish officials say there were cleaning chemicals aboard the platform but do not know the exact cause of the fire at this time.

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

Lake Ponchartrain lies north of New Orleans.

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, Jefferson County Parish and St. Charles Parish also have marine units on scene assisting.

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