At least three people have been killed, and 136 others injured, following a large explosion, at a major petrochemical facility, in Mexico.
A massive explosion rocked a major petrochemical facility of Mexican national oil company Pemex in the Gulf state of Veracruz on Wednesday, killing at least three people, injuring 136 others, and pumping a cloud of noxious chemicals into the sky.
Luis Felipe Puente, head of federal emergency services, told Reuters that three people had died in the blast. Pemex confirmed that three of its workers had died, and said another 136 were injured, of which 88 were still in the hospital.
The firm said the explosion, which sent a huge, dark plume of smoke billowing upwards, occurred just after 3 p.m. local time (20:00 GMT) at the facility’s chlorinate 3 plant near the port of Coatzacoalcos, one of the company’s top oil export hubs.
What caused the blast was unclear, but Pemex initially warned local residents to keep away from the site due to what it described as a dissipating cloud of toxic fumes. TV footage showed rain clouds gathering above the plant as evening fell.
“The current situation at the plant… is under control and there is no risk to the population,” Pemex said later in the evening.