Pemex blast toll rises to 24
Petroleos Mexicanos stated that the death toll from their petrochemical plant explosion in southeastern Mexico has risen to 24. Pemex added that 19 people remained hospitalised, with 13 of them in serious condition. Officials said that so far, 18 workers had been reported missing. Pemex said that currently, it was prioritizing the safety of those involved in inspecting the plant.
Petroleos Mexicanos also known as Pemex is Mexico's state-run oil company. It was created in 1938 by nationalization or expropriation of all private, foreign, and domestic companies in Mexico at that time. Pemex has a total asset worth of $415.75 billion and is the world's second largest non-publicly listed company by total market value and Latin America's second largest enterprise by annual revenue.
Pemex has been no stranger to industrial accidents. There have been at least three major industrial accidents at Pemex properties in Mexico which claimed several lives.
An explosion followed by a fire at a gas plant in the northern Mexican state of Tamaulipas killed 26 people. Mexico's state oil company, Pemex, said the fire broke out at around lunchtime at its gas facility outside the city of Reynosa. Of the 26 dead people, 22 were contractors and four were company employees. The cause of the fire was not established.
At least 37 people were killed in an explosion at the headquarters of Pemex in Mexico City. An official inquest said the explosion was caused by a mix of methane gas and solvent vapours. Experts said the initial spark was caused by an electrical or mechanical source. Officials said poor maintenance and shoddy masonry work were responsible for the fire spreading.
A fire at the Abkatun Permanente shallow-water oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico killed four workers, injured 16 and forced the evacuation of 300. Mexico's state-run oil company Pemex, which runs the platform said that two of the injured workers were in serious condition. Officials added that a significant amount of oil had spilled into the Gulf, endangering the aquatic flora and fauna.
An explosion rocked a petrochemical plant on Mexico's southern Gulf coast, causing evacuations in the area. The plant is located in the industrial port city of Coatzacoalcos in the state of Veracruz. Veracruz State Governor Javier Duarte said the blast was felt 10 km away, adding that more than 2,000 people were evacuated from the area as a precaution.
The explosion occurred in Pemex's Clorados 3 plant of Petroquimica Mexicana de Vinilo operated by another company, Mexichem, in partnership with Pemex. The plant produces vinyl chloride, a hazardous industrial chemical that is used to make PVC pipes.
According to Pemex officials, at least three people were killed in the blast, while over 136 others were injured. The injured were rushed to nearby hospitals for treatment and at least 88 were said to be in critical condition. Hundreds of people have been evacuated and schools in the vicinity were closed, due to suspicion that the smoke from the fire could be poisonous.