Oil Rig Fire In Gulf Of Mexico Kills Four, Forces Evacuation Of 300

An oil rig fire in the Gulf of Mexico Wednesday spawned disastrous results, including the death of four workers and the injury of up to 45 others. Terrified workers even jumped into the sea to avoid the blaze.

Concerned relatives of the employees caught in the fire crowded hospitals where those with bandaged hands and faces were sent to be cared for. One survivor of the blaze, Roger Arias Sanchez, who escaped in an evacuation boat alongside 299 others, told the press that the situation was so bad, “there was nothing you could do but run.”

Eight firefighter boats have been working to kill the blaze since it began, says Pemex, the oil company who owns the Abkatun Permanente platform. President Enrique Pena Nieto says the oil rig fire is currently under investigation.

“[I issued orders] to carry out the appropriate investigations to find whoever is responsible, but above all, to avoid this type of accident in the future.”

Pemex states that it’s unsure if a large amount of oil was spilled in the incident at the Gulf of Mexico’s Abkatun Permanente platform which processes raw oil for petroleum, gas, and other usable products.

It is said that the initial fire was caused when a large tidal wave hit the rig and sent a boom crashing into the valve assembly.

The area is not without its criminal behavior though, as Yahoo News explains.

In 2014 alone, over 2,000 illegal taps had been discovered, stealing over $1 billion in fuel. This is due to some horrible security issues with Pemex, who announced in February that it will no longer send finished product through its pipelines as a counter to the theft.

It is possible that activity accompanying these illegal taps may have contributed to the Abkatun fire, but the investigation is still under way and nobody knows for sure.

The oil rig fire isn’t the first major accident that Pemex has suffered, says NBC News. A blast at their Mexico City headquarters caused at least 37 fatalities in 2013, and 26 people at a Pemex natural gas facility were killed in September 2012.

[Image via WBRZ]