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2nd worker dies in Mexico after refinery explosion

2nd worker dies in Mexico after refinery explosion

A second worker died Thursday from extensive burns received in an explosion at Mexico's third-largest petroleum refinery, the state-run oil company said.
Rodolfo Montemayor Mota, a 49-year-old specialized operator, suffered burns over 80 percent of his body after the blast at the Cadereyta refinery outside the northeastern city of Monterrey, Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, announced in a statement.
Juan Sanchez Paz, 32, an operations engineer, was killed at the time of the explosion.
A third worker remains in "delicate" condition after receiving burns to most of his body, while a fourth is stable following an operation, the company said. Four other workers have been released from the hospital, while three workers from an outside contractor received minor injuries, Pemex added.
The company said Tuesday's explosion was caused by a leak in a hydrogen recirculation compressor. Authorities are investigating what caused the leak.
Two of the plant's 32 processing modules were closed temporarily as a preventive measure following the blast, reducing the plant's processing capacity from 215,000 to 200,000 barrels of oil per day. Pemex said that would not cause any fuel shortages.
The explosion comes as Mexico is trying to find ways to improve its declining refining capabilities and reduce its dependence on fuel imports.
One of the world's largest oil producers, Mexico has to import more than 40 percent of the gasoline it uses, a surge from just 6.9 percent 20 years ago.
Several refineries are undergoing upgrades, and Pemex is also building a new oil refinery in the central city of Tula _ the first to be constructed in three decades. The country currently has six refineries.
Pemex is also considering importing crude oil for the first time in decades. Company officials say importing easier-to-process light crude will improve the efficiency of its refineries.


Updated : 2021-02-25 05:07 GMT+08:00