April 21, 2016- A massive explosion and toxic vapor cloud were reported from the site of a petrochemicals manufacturing plant which is part of PEMEX in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, Mexico. The plant is part of Petroquimica Mexicana de Vinilo, or PMV, a vinyl petrochemical plant that is a joint venture between Pemex’s petrochemical unit and a listed Mexican company Mexichem. PEMEX as you may be aware is a state owned oil company owned by the Mexican government. The plant lies inside Pemex’s Pajaritos petrochemical complex. According to news reports, Mexichem said in a statement the explosion occurred in an ethylene unit at the plant. The facility makes VCM (Vinyl Chloride Monomer) also known as Chlorethane. This is a raw material used in making plastic pipes.
PEMEX as you may be aware is a state owned oil company owned by the Mexican government.
The accident has so far resulted in three fatalities and more than 136 injuries.Some of these are still in hospital, while others with minor injuries were discharged after treatment. The industrial accident/incident has led to a large scale evacuation of local residents in the area to safer places. On TV people reported seeing bursting of flames, explosions and then a thick column of smoke that could be seen from miles away.
Pemex Chief Executive Jose Antonio Gonzalez traveled to Coatzacoalcos late on Wednesday to oversee the response.
Just about two months ago, in February 2016, there was an explosion in the same plant that killed a worker.