JEANERETTE, La. (AP) — Searchers held out hope Friday that three people missing following a deadly natural gas pipeline explosion in Louisiana's West Cote Blanche Bay would be found alive.Three others were killed in the Thursday afternoon explosion, two miles off shore and about 100 miles southwest of New Orleans. One person was badly burned.
“We interviewed one boat operator 3 1/2 miles away who felt the explosion on his face,” said Iberia Parish Sheriff Sid Hebert. Hebert said rescue boats in the area went to the scene soon after the explosion and pulled four workers from the water.
The NTSB says:
“The National Transportation Safety Board has sent a team of five investigators to the scene of a fire involving a towboat with two barges and a natural gas pipeline in West Cote Blanche Bay near Morgan City, LA.
The accident occurred on October 12, about 11:00 a.m. (CDT), when a piling dropped from one of the barges and struck a submerged high-pressure gas line, causing the line to rupture and catch fire. Preliminary information is that three people were killed and three are missing.
This will be a joint investigation with the U.S. Coast Guard. The NTSB Investigator-in-Charge is Morgan Turrell.”