Tue | Oct 17, 2017

Blast kills 13, injures dozens at Mexico petrochemical plant

Published:Friday | April 22, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Relatives of missing workers of a nearby petrochemical plant of the state oil company Petroleos Mexicanos ( Pemex ) pray as they wait for news news about their loved ones outside the local hospital in Coatzacoalcos, Mexico.

MEXICO CITY (AP):

An explosion killed 13 people and injured scores at a petrochemical plant on Mexico's southern Gulf coast, forcing evacuations as a fire billowed a huge toxin-filled cloud into the air.

The head of Mexico's civil defence agency, Luis Felipe Puente, wrote in his Twitter account yesterday that emergency personnel had been able to enter the burned-out plant and found 10 more cadavers. Three workers had been reported dead immediately following the blast on Wednesday afternoon.

The state oil company, Petroleos Mexicanos, said 136 workers had been hurt in the blast in the industrial port city of Coatzacoalcos. Eighty-eight of the injured remained hospitalised.

The director of Petroleos Mexicanos told the Radio Formula station that 13 of the injured were in serious condition, and said the death toll could rise.

Jose Antonio Gonzalez Anaya said the blast "was caused by a leak. ... We don't know how that leak occurred."

Veracruz state Governor Javier Duarte earlier told Radio Formula that the blast was felt as far as 6 miles (10 kilometres) away, adding that more than 2,000 people were evacuated from the area as a precaution.