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Number of injured climbs to 19 in latest Pemex explosion

Agua Dulce, Veracruz — A Pemex pipeline explosion earlier in the week has seen an increased number of injured. According to the state Civil Protection Secretariat, 19 people were injured in the Monday ethane explosion in Veracruz.

Authorities say Pemex and Civil Protection workers accounted for most of the injured with some suffering first and second degree burns.

The institution reported that the strong explosion occurred at 3:00 p.m. in the municipality of Agua Dulce, on the border between Veracruz and Tabasco, during controlled burning maneuvers at the ethane leak point in a Petróleos Mexicanos pipeline (Pemex).

The injured are members of the task forces, including Pemex and Civil Protection workers. Members of municipal and state corporations sought to control an ethane leak that had been active for 48 hours in a feeder pipeline.

During Monday night, a total of 170 inhabitants of the Miguel Alemán Valdés town were evacuated from their homes due to the threat that the gas would reach their community.

The Mexican Army applied Plan DN-III to help the population and assisted, together with local authorities, the refugees in a temporary shelter set up in a public school.

On Tuesday morning, area task forces announced they would carry out a controlled burning of the product to manage the risk, which would last up to five hours.

However, at 3:00 p.m. an explosion occurred in the pipeline that caused an initial number of 11 injuries. That figure has since been updated to 19. The injured were sent to hospitals in the municipalities of Agua Dulce and Nanchital.

Veracruz is one of the main oil states in Mexico with extraction wells, petrochemical complexes and a refinery.