Pemex says spill averted in oil tanker fire in Gulf of Mexico near Veracruz
Nevertheless, members of several Mexican departments and agencies are continuing with their special operation seven nautical miles off the coast of the city of Veracruz, where the Burgos exploded and caught fire on Saturday morning, Efe news agency reported.
Participating in the efforts to control the fire and prevent any fuel spillage have been three boats and five tugboats belonging to Veracruz’s Apiver port administration and four vessels belonging to the Mexican navy.
The navy said in a press release, that the efforts of its vessels are focused on supporting preventive measures to protect human life and the ocean environment.
Pemex said that none of the fuel on board the Burgos has spilled into the Gulf and that the oily spots that have appeared in the waters near the burning vessel result from firefighting foam sprayed to extinguish the blaze.
The oil company also said that the Burgos, weighing 25,400 tons and 175 meters long, has a double hull to eliminate the risk of a spill.
Meanwhile, authorities confirmed that there have been no deaths or injuries resulting from the incident, adding that most of the fuel on board the vessel was being consumed by the blaze.
The Burgos was reportedly loaded with 80,000 barrels of diesel fuel, 71,000 barrels of high-octane gasoline and 16,000 barrels of desulfurized gasoline when the explosion and subsequent fire occurred.
Officials with the Veracruz Port Authority, Pemex and local Civil Protection authorities said that the tanker’s 30 crew members managed to evacuate the vessel without injury.
It is not yet clear what caused the explosion.
The Burgos is one of the Pemex’s oldest tankers and regularly plies routes in the Gulf of Mexico, operating amid top security measures.
Civil Protection authorities said that putting out the fire will require several days, since the cargo on board the vessel is highly flammable.
The Burgos is one of 17 oil tankers operated by Pemex in the Gulf of Mexico and Pacific Ocean.