Navigation
Suscribe
Menu Search Facebook Twitter
Search Close
Menu ALL SECTIONS
  • Capital Coahuila
  • Capital Hidalgo
  • Capital Jalisco
  • Capital Morelos
  • Capital Oaxaca
  • Capital Puebla
  • Capital Quintana Roo
  • Capital Querétaro
  • Capital Veracruz
  • Capital México
  • Capital Michoacán
  • Capital Mujer
  • Reporte Índigo
  • Estadio Deportes
  • The News
  • Efekto
  • Diario DF
  • Capital Edo. de Méx.
  • Green TV
  • Revista Cambio
Radio Capital
Pirata FM
Capital Máxima
Capital FM
Digital
Prensa
Radio
TV
X
Newsletter
Facebook Twitter
X Welcome! Subscribe to our newsletter and receive news, data, statistical and exclusive promotions for subscribers
Mexico

Mexico Petrochemical Plant Blast Kills 24, 8 Still Missing

Pemex said Thursday night that it was prioritizing the safety of those inspecting the plant

Mexican army soldiers wearing protective face masks stand guard at an entrance of the Pajaritos petrochemical complex in Coatzacoalcos, Mexico, Thursday, April, 21, 2016., photo: AP/Félix Márquez
1 year ago

The death toll from an explosion that ripped through a petrochemical plant on Mexico’s southern Gulf coast is now 24, state oil company Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) reported.

Pemex raised the toll late Thursday from the 13 fatalities previously known and said eight workers remained missing. It also said 19 people remained hospitalized, with 13 of them in serious condition.

In a statement, the company said 12 of the bodies had been identified and eight of them delivered to family members.

Earlier in the day, President Enrique Peña Nieto toured the facility in the industrial port city of Coatzacoalcos and met with relatives desperate for word on the fate of loved ones still unaccounted for.

Relatives of missing workers gather outside the Pajaritos petrochemical complex in Coatzacoalcos, Mexico, Thursday, April, 21, 2016. At least 13 people are now confirmed dead and scores of others were injured in the Wednesday afternoon explosion inside the plant. The state oil company Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, said the plant, operated by Mexichem, in partnership with Pemex, produces vinyl chloride, a hazardous industrial chemical. (AP Photo/Felix Marquez)

Relatives of missing workers gather outside the Pajaritos petrochemical complex in Coatzacoalcos, Mexico, Thursday, April, 21, 2016. Photo: AP/Félix Márquez

“I understand the anxiety, the worry, the anguish you are going through,” Peña Nieto said, assuring them that both Pemex and the Mexichem company, which co-operated the plant, would fulfill their responsibilities and compensate those hurt by the accident.

About 30 families gathered at a plant entrance road, where a sharp chemical smell still hung in the air about 2 kilometers (one mile) from where the explosion occurred Wednesday afternoon. Many wore facemasks to ward off the pungent odor.

Shoving broke out as people unsuccessfully tried to force their way into the installation. Some shouted at marines and soldiers who were called in to guard the facility, and they threw rocks at a white government SUV when it arrived at the scene.

Rosa Villalobos traveled about four hours by bus from the city of Veracruz to scour Coatzacoalcos hospitals looking for her son, Luis Alfonso Ruiz Villalobos, a 25-year-old worker at the plant. When she couldn’t find him she showed up at the plant entrance.

“What I want is for justice to be done in my son’s case, for there to be no impunity,” Villalobos said. “I’m going to stay here. Even though I have no money, even though I have nothing to eat, I’m staying put.”

Some volunteers brought food and drink to the families. After a while authorities began taking people inside in small groups to see a list of those confirmed dead. Some left crying after seeing their loved ones’ names.

Pemex said Thursday night that it was prioritizing the safety of those inspecting the plant and teams were still gradually gaining access to more parts of the site.

The blast forced evacuations of nearby areas as it sent a toxin-filled cloud billowing into the air and injuring more than 100 workers.

Rosa Villalobos stands in front of army soldiers as she holds up a photo of her son, Luis Alfonso Ruiz, 25, (on the right of the photo), as she tries to get information on his whereabouts outside one of the main entrances to the Pajaritos petrochemical complex in the city of Coatzacoalcos, Mexico, Thursday, April, 21, 2016. Ruiz is one of several workers still unaccounted for while at least 13 people are now confirmed dead and scores of others have been injured in an explosion inside this plant. The state oil company, Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, said explosion occurred in a plant that produces vinyl chloride, a hazardous industrial chemical. (AP Photo/Felix Marquez)

Rosa Villalobos stands in front of army soldiers as she holds up a photo of her son, Luis Alfonso Ruiz, 25, as she tries to get information on his whereabouts outside one of the main entrances to the Pajaritos petrochemical complex in the city of Coatzacoalcos, Mexico, Thursday, April, 21, 2016. Photo: AP/Félix Márquez

José Antonio González Anaya, Pemex’s director, said that the explosion was caused by a leak of an as-yet unknown origin.

Antonio Mariche, who accompanied the Villalobos family in search of Luis Alfonso, vowed that the families would demand a full account of what happened.

“To the president, to the state governor, to the head of Pemex, we will not allow any more cover-ups like have happened with previous accidents,” Mariche said. “They have covered up the numbers (in the past); there have been people who disappeared and regrettably never appeared. … We will go to the last consequences to make sure this doesn’t keep happening.”

The Clorados 3 plant of Petroquímica Mexicana de Vinilo, where the explosion happened, produces the hazardous industrial chemical vinyl chloride.

In early February, a fire killed a worker at the same facility.

Comments Whatsapp Twitter Facebook Share
More From The News
Mexico

Messages of Solidarity Found in Donation ...

17 mins ago
Mexico

Cyclists Provide Aid to Mexico City Quak ...

36 mins ago
Mexico

International Help for Earthquake Rescue

37 mins ago
Mexico

The Signals Used by Rescuers in Search f ...

40 mins ago
Most Popular

Mexico Shocked By News: Girl Trapped in ...

By The Associated Press
Mexico

Earthquake Death Toll Rises to 273

By Notimex
Mexico

7.1 Magnitude Quake Kills 139 as Buildui ...

By The Associated Press
Mexico

Search for Mexico Quake Survivors Enters ...

By The Associated Press
Mexico

Celebs Donate to Quake Relief, Politicia ...

By Federico Rojas Frias
Mexico