Coast Guard Investigating Natural Gas Pipeline Release

HOUMA, La. — Houma Incident Command received a report of an incident that occurred at about 9:25 a.m. Friday involving a supply vessel that was mooring to a natural gas riser platform and pipeline in waters near Cocodrie, resulting in a release of natural gas.

Of the 41 people on board, 36 were transported to shore, treated by emergency medical services and taken to five local hospitals. Symptoms ranged from scratchy throats to coughs and nausea. Of those 36 people, two were characterized as more serious, complaining of shortness of breath, disorientation and chest pains. One of those two was airlifted to a local hospital for emergency care.

Five crew members are still on the vessel and moving it to a safe mooring, where they will be evaluated by local emergency medical services.

Operations in the Cocodrie area were stopped for the day and there is a safety stand down for crewmembers involved in the oil spill response and recovery.

Additionally, there will be an extensive safety brief to all hands in the morning before cleanup operations are allowed to resume.

“The safety of the people in the field is a top priority of this oil spill response,” said Unified Command Safety Section Chief Scot Rudolph.

The United States Coast Guard is conducting a marine casualty investigation to determine the cause of the incident.

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