October 28, 2016

Deadly explosion at Mexican oil plant

The explosion was at a plant owned by Mexican state oil company Pemex. Photo: AFP

A large explosion at an oil facility in the south-east Mexican state of Veracruz has killed at least three people and injured 30 more.

The blast hit a facility owned by Mexico’s state oil company, Pemex, in the port city of Coatzacoalcos.

Hundreds of people have been evacuated and schools closed. Footage showed a large fire and vast plumes of smoke.

A series of explosions have been reported at other Pemex facilities in recent years.

The latest incident occurred at around 15:30 local time (20:30 GMT), a statement by Veracruz’s government said (in Spanish).

The fire was under control by early evening, Pemex said. Smoke emanating from the blast dissipated quickly, it added, lessening any possible toxic effects.

The explosion created a massive plume of smoke.

The explosion created a massive plume of smoke. Photo: AFP

Pemex said the part of the factory hit by the explosion was managed by a sister company, Mexichem.

Export of oil from the plant, one of the largest terminals for oil distribution in Mexico, would not be affected, the company added.

In September 2012, an explosion then a fire at a gas plant in the northern state of Tamaulipas killed 33 people.

Pemex’s own headquarters in Mexico City was hit by a large gas blast in January 2013, killing 37 people.

A number of fires also struck the company’s rigs in the Gulf of Mexico last year.

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