Blast at Pemex Group VCM Plant Kills 13
An explosion and fire at a vinyl chloride monomer plant (VCM) owned by Petroquímica Mexicana de Vinilo (PMV), a joint venture between the petrochemicals arm of state-owned energy group Pemex and Mexican plastic pipe maker Mexichem, killed at least 13 people on Apr. 20. At last count on Apr. 21, as many as 136 people were reported injured at the facility located in the industrial port city of Coatzacoalcos on Mexico’s southern Gulf coast, which also produces ethylene.
The blast, which produced a toxic cloud of smoke, led to the shutdown of the plant and evacuation of around 2,000 people living nearby. Pemex said. It was the latest in a series of deadly incidents at facilities affiliated with the energy group.
In February of this year, one worker was killed in an incident at the same VCM plant. A 2015 fire at the Pemex Abkatun Permanente platform in the Bay of Campeche affected oil output and reportedly cost the company up to $780 million. In 2013, at least 37 were killed in an explosion at the Pemex headquarters on Mexico City, after 26 people were killed in an incident at one of the company’s natural gas production units.