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Blast On Tanker Knocks Workers Into Long Island Sound

September 1, 1988

NORTHPORT, N.Y. (AP) _ An explosion on an oil tanker docked at a loading platform in the Long Island Sound Wednesday night knocked several people into the water, authorities said, and at least one person was missing.

The blast shook the area and could be heard for miles around at about 10 p.m.

″I’ve never experienced an earthquake but it must be something like this,″ police Sgt. Anthony Iannone said. ″We’ve had several residents report that their windows were blown out.″

The Coast Guard was searching the water for a missing person, Chief Warrant Officer Myron Verville said. He said he was unaware of any injuries.

The tanker, the Fiona, was unloading oil, which is then piped to the Northport plant of the Long Island Lighting Co., said Gene Geisinger of the Northport Fire Department.

The platform is located about 2 miles north of the plant in the Sound, he said.

″We have reports of people in the water and scuba divers are out there trying to find them,″ Geisinger said.

Geisinger and county police said the explosion did not start a fire. But it could be felt more than 10 miles away, said Suffolk County Police Officer Albert Droscoski.

Ray Golden, a spokesman for the Long Island Lighting Co., said he had received reports of the explosion but did not have details.

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