Fire erupts in Gulf of Mexico after undersea gas pipeline ruptures

·2-min read
 (BNO News)
(BNO News)

A fire erupted in the Gulf of Mexico after a gas leak from an underwater pipeline.

Footage shared online appeared to show the surface of the ocean in flames after the fire broke out in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, in the early hours of Friday.

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Mexican state-owned petroleum company Pemex, which runs the pipeline, said it had sent fire control boats to pump more water over the flames.

The fire was extinguished after more than five hours and no one was hurt or evacuated during the incident.

The alarm was sounded about 5.15am after gas began leaking out of a 12-inch pipeline that connects a nearby platform to Pemex’s flagship Ku Maloob Zaap oil production facility.

In a statement, the company said it will "carry out a root cause analysis of this incident".

It added: "The incident was dealt with immediately when the security protocols were activated and with the accompaniment of nearby firefighting vessels.

"In addition, the interconnected valves in the pipeline were closed, extinguishing the fire and the gas release, ending the contingency (plan) around 10.45 am and restoring normal operating conditions. No injuries or evacuees are reported."

Angel Carrizales, the head of Mexico’s oil safety regulator, tweeted to say the fire was "controlled by personnel from Pemex" and "the event did not generate any spill", but did not explain what was burning on the surface of the ocean.

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It is unclear if the event caused environmental damage.

Miyoko Sakashita, oceans program director for the Centre for Biological Diversity, wrote that “the frightening footage of the Gulf of Mexico is showing the world that offshore drilling is dirty and dangerous.”

Sakashita added: “These horrific accidents will continue to harm the Gulf if we don’t end offshore drilling once and for all.”

Former chief crown prosecutor Nazir Afzal said: "This is no big budget disaster movie. This is the Gulf of Mexico on fire because an oil pipeline ruptured.

"Humanity is the custodian of this planet, but we behave as it’s destroyer."

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