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One dead, 16 injured in Mexico oil rig fire: official



mexico map. source wikipedia

A fire erupted on an offshore oil platform operated by Mexico’s Pemex on Wednesday, killing at least one worker, injuring 16 and forcing 300 to be evacuated.

Eight firefighting vessels were battling the early morning blaze at the Abkatun Permanente platform on the Gulf of Mexico’s Campeche Sound, the state-run firm said.

The blaze took place in the dehydration and pump area of the platform, located off the coast of eastern Campeche state, Pemex said in a statement.

“Regrettably, we confirm the death of a worker from the Cotemar company,” a Pemex contractor, the firm said, adding that two of the injured workers are in serious condition.

Some 300 workers were taken to other platforms in the area while the injured were transported to Pemex’s general hospital in Ciudad de Carmen.

Mexican media published pictures showing a huge column of smoke billowing from the platform as the firefighting vessels battle the fire with water cannons.

The fire is latest incident to hit the state oil firm in recent years.

In January 2013, a gas buildup caused an explosion at the company’s Mexico City headquarters, killing 37 people.

A natural gas plant explosion killed 30 people near the northeastern state of Tamaulipas in September 2012.

President Enrique Pena Nieto pushed through a sweeping energy reform bill last year that opens the sector to foreign investors in a bid to reverse falling production and modernize aging infrastructure.

Pemex, which provides a third of Mexico’s tax revenue, posted a $17.7 billion loss in 2014, hit by falling global oil prices, fuel thefts by gangs and the peso’s drop against the dollar.

The government will hold its first auction in July for shallow-water projects on the Gulf of Mexico.

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