Explosion Update: Death Toll Rises To 13

Published at 03:19PM - 21/04/16

The death toll continues to rise, following the powerful explosion that ripped through the Coatzacoalcos oil refinery, with operators Pemex now confirming 13 dead.

The explosion occurred Wednesday, and resulted in a fire that sent plumes of toxic smoke across the nearby Mexican port city of Coatzacoalcos, on the nation’s Gulf of Mexico coast.

Originally the number of lives lost had been reported as 3, although out of a total of 136 injured, 88 remained in hospital, of whom 13 were said to be in a serious condition.

An Injured And Burn Pemex Worker
An Burn And Injured Pemex Worker

13 Lives Lost

Due to the magnitude of the blast, the chemicals being produced, and the severe burns that many of the workers had sustained, it was expected that the death toll would rise.

No announcement nor press release has been made by Pemex, on the death toll, except a brief message on the company’s official twitter account.

The message simply read: “Unfortunately 13 workers killed in the explosion at the plant Chlorinated 3 – Pemex company PMV Mexichem confirmed”.

Ongoing Situation

It still isn’t clear on the severity of injuries sustained by those that remain in hospital, but many have suffered severe burns, as well as injuries from the blast.

The resulting fire is now believed to be out, and an investigation now under way, with Pemex Managing Director, Jose Antonio González Anaya; and the Mexican Secretary for National Civil Protection, Luis Felipe Puente, visiting the scene and those that remain in hospital. 

pemex_fire_5
Devastation At Pemex Coatzacoalcos Plant

Another Pemex Incident

This latest fatal incident, adds to a catalog similar catastrophes at Pemex assets. In the last two years alone, the Mexican state run oil company has had five similar incidents- not including Coatzacoalcos.

In February 2016, 3 workers were killed and 8 injured in a fire at the Abkatun-A offshore platform. This was the second fatal fire to hit the offshore platform in less than a year.

In January 2016, 97 offshore workers were evacuated after a fire onboard the Pemex Zaap E offshore platform.

In December 2015, 30 people were injured by an explosion at a Pemex operated oil pipeline.

In October 2015, 85 offshore workers were evacuated from the Pemex Sihil Alpha platform after a severe gas leak.

In April 2015, 7 offshore workers were killed and 45 injured after a fire engulfed the Pemex Abkatun-A Permanente platform.