DELACROIX, La. (WGNO)— Emergency responders in St. Bernard Parish were on scene at a fire on Lake Lery into Thursday evening after officials say a pipe exploded in the water.
Parish President Guy McInnis tells WGNO the fire had been burning for several hours on Thursday afternoon, adding that the fire was believed to have been caused by a gas pipeline explosion in the lake.
A report from another media outlet claimed a loose barge struck the pipeline which caused the explosion, however, McInnis denies that claim, saying that fishermen who were working in the area saw no signs of a barge. The cause of the explosion remains under investigation.
We’re told the operator of the gas well, who was not identified, was waiting for the fire to burn off and that it would take some time for the blaze to be extinguished. So far, no injuries have been reported.
Around 6 p.m., parish officials said a small oil sheen had formed in the lake just north of the fire. At 9:30 p.m., an update from the U.S. Coast Guard said that the pipeline was secure and no longer discharging oil but the site was still on fire. However, officials added the fire will stop burning once the fuel remaining in the water burns up.