Refinery explosion kills 6 in northern Mexico

08:52, September 08, 2010      

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An explosion at a refinery of the state oil company Pemex killed six people in northern Mexico on Tuesday, local media reported.

The blast occurred about 9:40 a.m. local time in Cadereyta, according to the reports, some of which also put the death toll at seven.

The refinery serves the northern Mexican state of Nuevo Leon.

The explosion was clearly heard throughout the city of Cadereyta, Guillermo de Leon Delgado, commander of civil protection in the nearby city of Monterrey, told Xinhua by telephone.

"After the explosion people rang us and began asking what happened," de Leon said. He added that refinery managers had requested six municipal ambulances, which were used to transfer injured people to a hospital run by Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex), the only firm allowed to refine fuel in the country.

He said he could not confirm the number of casualties as Pemex civil protection staff were dealing with the incident. He explained that this is the usual procedure and Pemex emergency crews usually only call for additional help if they are overwhelmed.

Local media reported that the explosion took place in a coking plant compressor. Pemex officials were not immediately available to confirm any information.

Source: Xinhua


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