A massive fire erupted on Wednesday evening at an oil refinery operated by Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) in the city of Minatitlan in the eastern Mexican state of Veracruz, reported Reuters.
"Specialized staff of Pemex attends a fire in the transfer pump house of the Gral. Lázaro Cárdenas from Minatitlán," Pemex tweeted.
Pemex went on to say that "seven were injured with minor injuries: a worker for burns and one for poisoning; and five firefighters who participated in controlling the incident."
According to Mexican newspaper Reforma, the fire began around 5 pm and was "caused by a leak in the plant's charge pump."
Reforma continued: "the pumps have a mechanical seal that in this case failed and there was a leak, which caused the fire. The plant receives gasoline to produce benzene, toluene, and xylenes, products known as aromatics."
Allegedly, someone snapped a picture of a Pemex oil worker closing values during the explosion. The picture has an unknown author and yet to be confirmed.
The executive director of Mexico's safety, energy, and environment regulator ASEA, Angel Carrizales, tweeted:
"The ASEA agency is tackling the incident that is currently ongoing at the Lazaro Cardenas oil refinery in Minatitlan, the state of Veracruz. The incident is associated with the inflammation of a fuel pump."
Mexique : Une explosion suivie d'un incendie se sont produits à la raffinerie de Minatitlán. pic.twitter.com/smzeI14X3U— Rebecca Rambar (@RebeccaRambar) April 8, 2021
Footage posted on Twitter showed a massive column of black smoke rising from the refinery.
Reuters notes the refinery is one of six operated by Pemex and has a capacity of around 285,000 barrels per day.
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