Jefferson Parish officials confirmed that one person is missing and seven others have been hospitalized following an oil rig explosion in Lake Pontchartrain in southeastern Louisiana Sunday night.
Chief Operating Officer Keith Conley said local police received calls about the explosion around 7:18 p.m. Sunday. Officials believe the explosion was caused by cleaning chemicals that ignited on the surface of the oil rig platform, but that has yet to be confirmed.
The U.S. Coast Guard has launched search and rescue efforts to locate the missing person, who, they say, wasn't able to make it to shore after the explosion.
Five people who have been taken to University Medical Center in New Orleans are being treated for blast-type injuries and burns. Authorities say they are in critical condition.
The other two individuals were taken to East Jefferson General Hospital and are in stable condition.
Sunday night's explosion was the second oil-rig incident to occur in Louisiana last weekend. On Friday, local Coast Guard officials said it received a report about a damaged pipeline dumping about 9,000 barrels of crude oil into the Gulf. Response vessels from Clean Gulf Associates and the Marine Spill Response Corporation have been called on to investigate.