Sheriff: Body of missing oil rig worker found on Pontchartrain shoreline

Sheriff Joe Lopinto gives update on Lake Pontchartrain rig explosion

KENNER, La. — The body of the man who had been missing since an oil rig exploded in Lake Pontchartrain Sunday night has been found.

Interim Jefferson Parish Sheriff Joe Lopinto said the body of 44-year-old Timothy Morrison of Katy, Texas, was recovered today on the lake’s shoreline about three miles from the Jefferson-St. Charles parish line.

“My prayers are with Tim’s wife, Erica, and their three children,” Lopinto said. “It brings their tragedy to an end.”

The rig explosion occurred after 7 p.m. on October 15, reportedly rattling homes as far away as Destrehan. The rig produces both oil and natural gas, Lopinto said.

Seven other workers were injured.

The Coast Guard and the sheriff’s office conducted a joint search and rescue effort, but the Coast Guard suspended its search after it was determined that ongoing efforts would be search and recovery.

JPSO continued its search and recovery effort for five days using helicopters, boats, ATVs, trucks and more.

Investigators spotted the body from a helicopter.

Investigators determined the explosion was caused by a large tank on the third floor of the platform, but it’s still unclear what caused the tank to explode.

New Orleans-based Covelly Oil Company owns the platform. Hydra Steam Generator, Inc., a Houston-based subcontractor working on the platform, was hired to perform a cleaning measure on the platform’s pipes.

There is no sheen and no shoreline impact from the explosion, officials said, only residual oil left on the rig that eventually burned.

An environmental study showed no impacts to air quality, Kenner city officials said.

Watch the full update from Sheriff Lopinto below: