May 26 UPDATE: On Wednesday afternoon, the Texas Petroleum Investment Company released an updated statement regarding the well fire on Belle Isle 24 hours earlier.
The TPIC statement reads:
“Contractors working to cap a shut-in well in the Belle Isle Field were injured when a spark ignited natural gas. Four employees of the contractor were evacuated for medical treatment. The fire occurred on Tuesday afternoon and was extinguished within two hours and gas flow has been minimized. Additional well control personnel are on the scene to develop a plan to secure and plug the well and protect the environment.”
WGNO Reporter Chris Welty also spoke to Trooper Thomas Gossen.
According to Trooper Gossen, they are continuing to oversee the response and the troopers are coordinating as a “unified command center.”
The LSP is overseeing Wildlife and Fisheries, the Department of Environmental Quality, the St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office and Texas Petroleum Investment Company “until there is no more threat.”
Gossen said crews are still dealing with a volatile piece of equipment and the site is still leaking.
Until the site is 100% contained, LSP will remain on scene.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.
NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — The Texas Petroleum Investment Company has confirmed an explosion in South Louisiana along the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday afternoon.
Initial reports show at least four workers were hospitalized.
The Louisiana Department of Natural Resources told WGNO sister station KLFY, that a gas leak started on Sunday on the Little Wax Bayou in Belle Isle, approximately 18 miles south of Patterson, La.
Wild Well Control, which specializes in doing plug and seals on gas wells, arrived on Tuesday to seal the leak. An explosion occurred resulting in four people suffering burns to the face and hands.
A Texas Petroleum statement reads:
“Contractors working to cap a well in the Belle Isle Field were injured when a spark ignited natural gas. The incident began on Sunday while workers were attempting to plug the abandoned well. The workers are receiving medical treatment and crews are on the scene to protect the environment and bring the well under control.”
Acadian Ambulance tweeted that it responded to the fire at 2:56 p.m. with four helicopters and five ground units.
According to the tweet, Acadian transported two patients by air, one to New Orleans and another to Lafayette, and two by ground, both to New Orleans as well.
Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Lafayette, La., also confirmed it has received patients.
WGNO’s Chris Welty was told by a Louisiana State Police spokesperson that their emergency services response team is en route.
The LSP, which is leading the investigation, confirms there is no current threat to the public.
Check back for further updates.