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Pemex reports five workers missing after massive explosion

Ixhuatlán del Sureste, Veracruz — Five Pemex workers have been reported missing after an explosion in Veracruz. The explosion happened around 3:40 p.m. Thursday.

According to a Pemex statement, “Petróleos Mexicanos (Pememx) extinguished a fire that started in the PM-119 drilling rig that provided maintenance to the Tuzandepetl-331 Cavity, which is part of the cavity rehabilitation project of the Tuzandepetl Strategic Storage Plant.”

The company added that “three injured workers were treated at the Pemex Hospital and exhaustive activities are being carried out to locate five more workers.”

The explosion happened Thursday during repair work on a 26-inch pipeline which was accidentally perforated, causing an explosion in the Tuzandépetl Strategic Storage Center (CAE).

The five missing Pemex workers were in the middle of the explosion when the line was perforated. It was unlikely they would have gotten out. Three employees were treated for injuries, while another 50 suffered issues due to the inhalation of toxic fumes.

Shortly after that fire, the company reported on a second incident in their the Minatitlán Refinery. In a separate statement, the company said “Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) extinguished a fire in the area of the bank of heat exchangers of the Combined Maya plant of the Minatitlán Refinery.

“Due to this event, there is a record of five injured people who were treated by Pemex medical services. Likewise, it is reported that there was no interruption in the operation of the plant and there is no record of damage to the refinery facilities.

“It is presumed that the possible cause of the fire was the spillage of the product on a hot surface.”