Examiner: Quake, fire, then Mexican pipeline blast kills 30: Sinkhole residents fear sameSeptember 21st, 2012
Quake, fire, then Mexican pipeline blast kills 30: Sinkhole residents fear same
Thursday, as Bayou Corne residents expressed fearing an explosion at a vulnerable oil and gas-related sinkhole in their community, Mexico's state-run oil company Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, said 30 workers have died instantly or are in the hospital and dozens others are injured from an explosion and fire at a plant near the U.S. border Tuesday where illegal pipeline tapping is suspected as a cause.
"The blast occurred at a reception plant near the border city of Reynosa that receives natural gas and condensates from Pemex's sprawling Burgos gas fields," reports Wall Street Journal.
This was the third fire at a Pemex gas facility in five weeks, possibly suggesting larger problems, such as safety and security regulations needing to be addressed.
The fiery blast rocked homes as far as the City of McAllen, Texas and other Rio Grande Valley communities," according to Eagle Pass Business Journal.
"The billowing smoke for the PEMEX Refinery explosion was visible in Texas cities such as McAllen, which is approximately less than 10 miles from the explosion site.
A five (5) mile square radius around the PEMEX Oil Refinery was immediately closed and evacuated in case a bigger second explosion occurred.
Authorities who are investigating the blast suspect illegal tapping of pipelines by criminal groups.
Illegal oil and gas tapping goes back a long way in the United States.
In 1977, Texaco was caught criminally siphoning huge amounts of natural gas that belonged to the people, for its own purposes. It illegally diverted the gas from federal offshore fields to its refinery in Texas.
Since September 2010, there have been more than 3,700 oil industry accidents in the Gulf of Mexico, according to the non-government watchdog group, Louisiana Bucket Brigade.
Sinkhole area residents fear explosion after 1000s of quakes and dangerously high levels of hydrocarbons fill swampland area
Thursday night, Bayou Corne and area residents gathered to share their fear of an explosion and gather information they say they are not getting from Unified Command, government officials representing seven government agencies involved in the disaster.
The residents have been subjected to thousands of earthquakes and methane gas leaking in their community.
Dr. Wilma Subra had released a report earlier Thursday indicating that the sinkhole is over half-full of hydrocarbons possibly in the flammable range.
There is no fire ban in the sinkhole area, as Assumption Parish officials have repeatedly advised.
The Louisiana Department of Natural Resources has required any of the seven industry operators in the salt dome below the area to flare or vent gas if it is leaking from their operation.
The Louisiana sinkhole disaster has resulted in a state emergency declaration and mandatory evacuation.
"This needs to be a federal issue," activist Cherri Fotlyn asserted at the meeting.
The White House has remained silent about the Assumption Parish oil and gas sinkhole emergency situation.