Mexico oil platform fire kills 4, injures 16
At least four people have been killed and 16 others injured in a fire that broke out after an explosion on an offshore oil platform operated by Mexico’s Pemeon company in the Gulf of Mexico.
Mexican state-run oil company Pemex said in a statement on Wednesday that the blaze erupted overnight on the Abkatun Permanente platform in the oil-rich Bay of Campeche.
“Regrettably, the death of four workers in the accident on the Abkatun A-Permanente platform has been confirmed,” Pemex wrote on Twitter.
The firm says that at least two of the injured workers are in critical condition.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for emergency services in the nearby city of Ciudad del Carmen has said as many as 45 people were injured in the blaze.
The blast took place at 3:40 a.m. in the dehydration and pump area of the platform, located off the coast of eastern Campeche state, the ASEA energy safety agency said in a separate statement.
Some 300 workers have been evacuated from the platform and they were taken to other platforms in the area.
“The priority in this emergency is to protect the safety of personnel, contain the fire and care for the injured,” the ASEA agency said according to AFP.
ASEA added that it is analyzing the cause of the incident to determine the actions needed to ensure industrial safety.
Media reports say at least eight firefighting vessels are battling to bring the fire under control.
The fire is the latest incident to hit the state oil firm in recent years.
Nearly 40 people were killed when a gas buildup caused an explosion at the company’s Mexico City headquarters in January 2013.
Also in September 2012, a natural gas plant explosion killed 30 people near the northeastern state of Tamaulipas.
President Enrique Pena Nieto pushed through a sweeping energy reform bill last year that opens the sector to foreign investors.
Officials say the initiative will reverse the falling production and modernize the country’s aging infrastructure.