Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Dozens killed in Mexico gas plant fire

19 September 2012, 08:37

Reynosa - A huge blaze erupted at a Mexican gas plant near the US border on Tuesday, leaving 26 people dead, 28 injured and seven missing in the worst accident in two years for the state-run Pemex energy firm.

Television images showed tall flames and plumes of smoke billowing from the site, located near Reynosa, a city in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas that sits across from the Texas town of McAllen.

"Regrettably, the number of workers who died in this morning's accident in Tamaulipas rose to 26," the company said on Twitter, as the toll more than doubled from the 10 deaths that had been reported earlier in the day.

Four of the dead were Pemex workers while the 22 others were contractors, the company said. Pemex later tweeted that another 21 contractors and seven company employees were hospitalised - of those, two were in serious condition.

"Seven workers are still missing," the company added.

A Red Cross worker told reporters earlier that 40 people had been taken to a hospital, with half of them suffering from first- and second-degree burns.


Rescue workers could be seen carrying injured people on stretchers and into ambulances.

The state monopoly said experts were investigating the cause of the fire - the third incident at a Pemex facility in a little over a month.

Pemex said the fire broke out at 10:45. Workers shut off valves while firefighters spent two hours extinguishing the blaze.

Guillermo Lopez, a contractor who worked with drilling teams and in maintenance areas, said the fire may have started when a tanker truck was filling a storage tank.

"One of the safety valves attached to the supply hose may have failed, creating a spark that turned into two explosions," Lopez said.

A pipeline and control valves were damaged by the fire and specialists are examining them, according to Pemex.

Previous incidents

The damaged plant receives gas from the Burgos basin and distributes the product to Pemex's gas and petrochemicals unit.

On 13 August, an explosion rocked a refinery in the Tamaulipas city of Ciudad Madero, and on the same day a fire broke out at a pipeline in the central state of Hidalgo after thieves apparently tried to steal diesel from it. No injuries were reported in either incident.

The previous worst incident took place in December 2010, when an oil pipeline exploded after it was punctured by thieves in the central town of San Martin Texmelucan, leaving 29 dead, injuring more than 50 and destroying 32 homes.

In October 2007, 21 Pemex workers died during a gas leak on an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico. Most drowned when they jumped into the sea in a panic.

Pemex, which accounts for 40% of Mexico's government revenue, was once the world's fourth biggest oil company.

But in the last 15 years it has fallen to 11th place in terms of production, with 2.55 million barrels of oil per day in 2011.


Tags mexico

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...