2 workers in critical condition in Baton Rouge burn unit after Lake Pontchartrain rig explosion

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KENNER - Three of the seven workers injured in a rig explosion in Lake Pontchartrain last night are currently in critical condition, and two of those critical patients have been transferred to a burn center in Baton Rouge.

Crews are continuing the search for a missing worker this morning, but have been hampered by four to five foot seas, according to Jefferson Parish Sheriff Joe Lopinto.

Five of the seven rig workers brought to the hospital last night after a natural gas rig exploded in Lake Pontchartrain went directly to a Level 1 Trauma center.

Director of Emergency Management at East Jefferson General Hospital Mike Guillot said seven workers were admitted to the hospital in total, five to the trauma center at University Hospital, and two to EJGH’s Metairie campus.

The two patients who went to EJGH were discharged overnight, Guillot said, while two patients who went to the trauma center were transferred to a burn center in Baton Rouge in critical condition, one patient is in critical condition in the ICU, and the remaining two were discharged.

The workers who are currently in the burn unit suffered burns and blast injuries from the initial explosion, Guillot said.

Lopinto said he visited the rig this morning along with Jefferson Parish Eastbank Consolidated Fire Chief Dave Tibbetts and a small crew of inspectors.

The rig has suffered extensive damage, Lopinto said, and most of the metal on the platform was charred by the explosion.

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