June 23, 2020 / 5:52 PM / 2 months ago

Mexico's largest refinery restarts after quake that killed worker

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - A worker at Mexico’s largest refinery died after a fall during a powerful earthquake on Tuesday, the country’s civil protection agency said, with the tremors also causing a fire that led to the brief shuttering of the installation.

The fire, which ignited where power generators and a boiler are located, was quickly extinguished, a company spokesperson said. The facility on the coast of the southern state of Oaxaca near the epicenter of the earthquake reopened after a short period of time, the civil protection agency said.

“A small fire broke out and was immediately controlled,” the Pemex spokesperson told Reuters.

The worker died in hospital after he fell from one of the plant’s structures during the quake, the protection agency said.

The Pemex spokesperson did not respond to requests for additional information on the status of its workers.

Two photos posted on the company’s Twitter page showed flames engulfing the corner of the plant and firefighters dousing them with water from several hoses.

Pemex said on Twitter that all other company installations were operating normally.

The 7.4 magnitude earthquake hit the coast of southern Mexico on Tuesday morning, killing at least one person, buckling roads and sending people fleeing their homes into the streets. Some buildings elsewhere in Oaxaca state were badly damaged, and fallen rocks could be seen blocking some roadways.

The Salina Cruz refinery, which has been operating below its operating capacity for an extended period of time, holds a total crude oil processing capacity of 330,000 barrels per day.

Reporting by David Alire Garcia and Raul Cortes; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel, Leslie Adler and David Gregorio

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