Backlash over 'eye of fire' that boiled ocean water

·1-min read

Environmentalists have criticised Mexico's state-owned oil company after a gas leak at an underwater pipeline unleashed a subaquatic fireball that appeared to boil the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Greenpeace Mexico says the accident, dubbed the 'eye of fire' on social media on Friday, appeared to have been caused by the failure of an underwater valve and it illustrates the dangers of Mexico policy of promoting fossil fuels.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has bet heavily on drilling more wells and buying or building oil refineries. He touts oil as "the best business in the world".

The raging fire on the ocean surface.
The fire took more than five hours to fully put out, according to Pemex. Source: Twitter/BNO News

Greenpeace said in a statement that the fire, which took five hours to extinguish, "demonstrates the serious risks that Mexico's fossil fuel model poses for the environment and people's safety".

Mexico's state-owned oil company said an undersea gas pipeline ruptured near a drilling platform.

Petroleos Mexicanos dispatched fire control boats to pump more water over the flames.

The blaze near Pemex oil platform. Source: Twitter/BNO News
The blaze raged a short distance from a Pemex oil platform. Source: Twitter/BNO News

It said nobody was injured in the incident in the offshore Ku-Maloob-Zaap field.

The leak near dawn on Friday occurred about 150 metres from a drilling platform.

The company said it brought the gas leak under control about five hours later.

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