Thirty-six hours after a Clovelly oil and gas platform in Louisiana’s Lake Pontchartrain exploded on Sunday night, one crew member is still missing. Timothy Morrison, 44, of Katy, Texas was one of eight men on the platform when the blast occurred around 7:15 p.m. on October 15. First responders rescued seven of the men but were unable to locate Morrison.
— KETK NEWS (@KETK) October 17, 2017
In addition to the Coast Guard, several agencies have crews participating in the search for Morrison including the City of Kenner, St. John Parish, St. Charles Parish, Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, the Jefferson Parish East Bank Consolidated Fire Department, and the East Jefferson Hospital.
The Coast Guard used helicopters and boats to search more than 90 square miles of the lake for Morrison before suspending its search around 7:00 p.m. last night. His family released the following statement to KHOU.com: “We remain hopeful that their search efforts will result in the rescue of our beloved father, husband, brother, and friend. We are very grateful for the efforts of law enforcement and for your well wishes and prayers. We request privacy during this difficult time.”
Morrison is employed by one of two contractors who were working with Clovelly employees on some routine maintenance when the explosion occurred. Four of the injured workers are also contract employees. Three of the injured men are Clovelly employees.
All seven of the injured crew members were all transported to area hospitals. Cody Boudreaux, 23, of Chauvin; Paul Pfister, 52, of Mandeville; and Devin Billiot, 27, and Brent Neil, 52, both of Houma, were treated and released. James Bordelon, 62, of Laplace, underwent surgery at UMC and remains hospitalized. Alvin Kembrel, 55, of Belle Chase and Lawrence Dufrene, 45, of Marrero, were transferred to the burn unit at Baton Rouge General Hospital. On Monday evening, Dufrene was listed in serious condition and Kembrel was listed in fair condition, according to the New Orleans Advocate.
Large tank on 3rd floor of oil and gas rig caused explosion that injured 7 and left 1 missing https://t.co/wXRanMj6uJ
— KITV4 (@KITV4) October 17, 2017
Investigators don’t yet know what caused the Clovelly oil rig explosion but they believe it occurred in a large tank on the third floor of the platform, according to WGNO.com. A massive fire followed the explosion severely damaging the structure of the rig which is used for collection and storage. Officials are in the early stages of trying to assess any environmental impact.
New Orleans-based Clovelly Oil Co. LLC (Clovelly) is responding to a fire and explosion on its oil and gas production platform in Lake Pontchartrain, which occurred at approximately 7:30 p.m. on October 15.
Three employees of Clovelly were injured, along with four employees of two contractors who were working on the platform at the time of the incident. All seven have been transported to local hospitals for evaluation and treatment.
In addition, another contractor employee is missing.
The fire has not been extinguished, although Clovelly is working with local authorities to ensure the fire is contained. The platform’s three oil wells were shut-in at the time of the incident and remain shut-in. Its one gas well was flowing, but was successfully shut-in shortly after the explosion.
Clovelly does not know if any oil was discharged into the lake. The cause of the explosion and fire is unknown. At the time of the incident, routine maintenance was being conducted on the platform.
Clovelly’s top priorities are: To protect the safety of all responders and workers on the scene, to locate the missing employee, to render medical care to the injured employees of Clovelly and its contractors and to minimize any impact on the public and to the environment.
Clovelly has activated its emergency response plan, mobilizing equipment and personnel to assess and address the incident and has notified all appropriate state and federal agencies.
Clovelly is cooperating with all federal/state agencies, including the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, under an approved plan.
Pollution and salvage experts are currently en route to the scene.
Pritzker Hageman law firm represents people who have been injured and the families of those who have been killed in explosions. Contact them for a free consultation by calling toll-free 1 (888) 377-8900.There is no obligation.