Lake Pontchartrain explosion: Search called off for missing oil worker

U.S. Coast Guard has called off a search and rescue mission for a worker who went missing after a platform explosion on a Lake Pontchartrain, near Kenner, Louisiana, on Sunday.

According to a statement by Jefferson Parish, the missing worker has been identified as 44-year-old Timothy Morrison of Katy, Texas.

After saturating the search area using multiple resources and assets, rescuers suspended the search for Morrison at 7:15 p.m, the Coast Guard said.

“The decision to suspend a search is never an easy one,” said Commander Zac Ford. “We send our thoughts and prayers to the Morrison family and all those affected by this incident.”

Apart from Morrison, seven workers were injured in a blast and fire that hit the Clovelly Oil Company-owned platform.

Pilots from Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans flew over the area Monday and reported no visible signs of pollution. The Coast Guard will continue to monitor the area for any potential pollution.

Alvin Kembrel and Lawrence Dufrene were initially transported to University Hospital where they were stabilized before being sent to the Regional Burn Center at Baton Rouge General due to the severity of their injuries. James Bordelon was transported to University Hospital and is recovering following surgery. Devin Billiot, Brent Neil, Paul Pfister, and Cody Boudreaux have all been treated and released.

Hydra Steam Generator, Inc., a Houston, Texas subcontractor working on the oil and gas platform, was hired to perform a cleaning measure on the platform’s pipes. At some time during this process, for reasons unknown at this time, an explosion occurred which resulted in a large fire on the top tier of the platform. An investigation into what caused the explosion and fire is currently underway, Jefferson Parish said on Monday.

The fire on the platform was extinguished Monday morning.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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