A huge explosion inside a petrochemical facility in southern Mexico
kills at least three people, with more than 100 others injured, and sends a toxin-filled cloud into the air.
The incident occurred after 3 p.m. (2000 GMT) on Wednesday in the Pemex oil company, which is located in the industrial port city of Coatzacoalcos.
According to the local governor, the blast claimed three lives and left 105 people hospitalized, including 58 Pemex workers.
The explosion was heard as far as six miles (10 kilometers) away, forcing evacuation of more than 2,000 people from the area as a precaution.
A worker receives help while being admitted to the Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS) hospital, following an explosion at the Pemex oil plant in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz State, Mexico, April 20, 2016. (Image by AFP)
Nearby schools and businesses have also been suspended, reports said. The cause of the explosion is yet to be clarified.
Residents have been warned to keep away from the site due to what is called a “dissipating cloud of toxic fumes.”
The plant reportedly produces vinyl chloride, a hazardous industrial chemical that is used to make PVC pipes and for other purposes.
Several explosions have been reported at Pemex facilities in recent years. In early February, an explosion at the facility killed three workers and injured seven others.
Providing one-fifth of the Mexican government’s revenue, Pemex produces vinyl chloride, a hazardous industrial chemical that is used to make PVC pipes and packaging materials.