Four people were killed and 16 workers were injured due to an explosion at an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico. The news was shared by Mexico’s state petroleum giant Pemex in a statement.
The company informed that one among the four who died was a contractor at the Abkatun Permanente platform. The blast took place at around 3:40am in the dehydration and pump area of the platform.
Eight firefighting boats were called in to extinguish the fire. State-run oil company Petroleos Mexicanos said they have evacuated 300 workers from the oil-spilled area. Forty-five workers were being treated.
The Campeche Sound contains the two biggest shallow-water oil deposits in Mexico, with 200 platforms hauling out 78 percent of the country’s crude.
Pemex Director General Emilio Lozoya said at a news conference that the cause of the fire is not yet known but he doubted mechanical fault.
“The fire is under control but has not been extinguished,” a Pemex spokesman told the AFP.
Helicopters carried injured workers with burnt faces and bandaged hands to the Ciudad de Carmen where relatives gathered outside the hospital to know about the well-being of their dear ones.
Out of desperation and panic, survivors had jumped into the sea.
“There was nothing you could do but run,” said Roger Arias Sanchez, an employee of Cotemar.
On Wednesday, Pemex said the accident “did not cause an oil spill into the sea, given that there was only a seepage, which is being taken care of by specialized vessels.”
President Enrique Pena Nieto promised a proper investigation of the incident. He said that whoever was responsible for the fire at Abkatun Permanente platform will be punished. Necessary measures will be taken to avoid such incident in the future. He also expressed deep condolences to the families of the deceased.