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Earthquake kills worker at Mexico’s largest refinery, causes small fire

25 June 2020

An earthquake in Mexico killed a worker at a Pemex refinery in the southern state of Oaxaca on June 23, with tremors also causing a small fire to break out. The worker died after falling from a structure at the plant during the 7.4 magnitude earthquake which hit the coast of southern Mexico.

Representative image: Shutterstock
Representative image: Shutterstock

The Salina Cruz refinery, the largest refinery in Mexico, was briefly closed down following the earthquake to allow firefighters to extinguish the fire. The blaze originated in a part of the plant which houses power generators and a boiler, Pemex said in a statement. The fire was quickly located and extinguished, allowing the facility to reopen after a few hours. 

The worker who fell from an installation was taken to hospital where he later died. Reuters news agency reports that Pemex did not comment on the status of its workers, but it did say that no other company installations had been impacted by the earthquake and were therefore running as normal.

The 7.4 magnitude earthquake’s epicentre was in Oaxaca where six people were killed in total. Roads were also damaged, and some buildings destroyed. The quake was felt in five other states, including the country’s capital Mexico City around 435 miles (700km) away from the epicentre.

The Salina Cruz refinery processes around 330,000 barrels of crude oil per day, although it has been operating at a lower capacity in recent weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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