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Oil Rig Explosion Kills 4, Injures 45 in Gulf of Mexico

Image: Oil Rig Explosion Kills 4, Injures 45 in Gulf of Mexico
A column of smoke rises during a fire of the oil platform Abkatun, in Campeche Bay on the Gulf of Mexico, on April 1, 2015. (Diario Presente/Xinhua/Landov)  

By    |   Thursday, 02 Apr 2015 08:21 AM

An oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico Wednesday killed four people and injured as many as 45 others, but did not leak any of the toxic substance into the water.

The explosion, in the southeastern Bay of Campeche off the shore of the southern Mexican state of Tabasco near the Yucatan Peninsula, forced the evacuation of more than 300 workers off the rig operated by Mexican state-run oil company Pemex, The New York Times reported.

The large platform is part of the Abkatun-Pol-Chuc offshore oil field that produced 300,000 barrels per day in 2013.

The explosion happened around 3:40 a.m. Wednesday at the dehydration and pump area of the platform, located near the coast of eastern Campeche state, Agence France-Presse reported.

"The fire is under control but has not been extinguished," a Pemex spokesman told AFP, noting that the injured were taken to Pemex's general hospital in Ciudad de Carmen.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto ordered an investigation into the accident and offered condolences to the families. The Campeche Sound, roughly 53 miles off the Mexican coast, has two of the biggest shallow-water oil deposits in Mexico.

The explosion renewed concerns about Pemex's safety record. Two years ago, according to The Times, an explosion at the company's Mexico City headquarters killed 37 people while a fire in 2007 at the Kab 121 rig in Campeche Sound killed another 21 workers.

The Abkatun-Pol-Chuc standing platform was used to separate gas from crude oil and was not a drilling rig, so there is no open well or danger of a major ongoing oil leak, a Pemex spokeswoman told The Guardian.

Charlie Kronick, oil analyst for Greenpeace U.K., charged that the accident was still a demonstration of the dangers of the oil industry.

"This tragic accident . . . once again demonstrates the true cost of our addiction to oil, whether in the Gulf of Mexico, Nigeria or the Arctic," Kronick said. "The sooner we end our dependence on dirty and dangerous fuels like oil and shift to clean energy, the better."

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An oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico Wednesday killed four people and injured as many as 45 others, but did not leak any of the toxic substance into the water.
oil, rig, explosion, killed, injured
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2015-21-02
Thursday, 02 Apr 2015 08:21 AM
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