Platform Fire in Bay of Campeche Claims 4 Lives, Injures 16

May 2015, Vol 242, No. 5

Flames engulfed a Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) platform in the Bay of Campeche on April 1, killing four workers and forcing others to leap into the waters below.

Pemex reported the fire at the Abkatun A-Permanente platform was extinguished the next day by eight firefighting vessels. In addition to the four who perished, 16 were injured, four workers from Pemex and 12 from service companies. Three of those killed worked for Cotemar and one for Pemex. Several were treated at the Burn Care Center of the National Rehabilitation Institute in Mexico City. Pemex said its Emergency Response Plan was immediately put into action and approximately 300 workers were evacuated. Pemex said the dehydration and pumping area aboard the platform caught fire; the cause of the fire was unknown. The National Agency for Industrial Safety and Environmental Protection of the Oil Industry (ASEA) and the Ministry of Labor and Social Service will investigate the cause of the accident. Following an inspection of the entire Abkatun Alfa processing center it was determined that the facilities are in structurally suitable conditions to resume operations. Pemex officials said that being a process and not a production platform, timely isolation of the pipelines was performed, preventing an oil spill, and only one runoff of hydrocarbon, which was contained, was recorded.