WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- The Gulf of Mexico was on fire Friday after a gas leak broke out of an underwater pipeline.
- Bright flames appeared on the ocean surface and create what was described as an “eye of fire.”
- The fire was put out after the oil company was able to close the valves of the pipeline five hours later.
A Mexican-state-owned oil company suffered a rupture in an underwater gas pipeline in the Gulf of Mexico on Friday. The rupture sent flames boiling to the ocean surface, creating a large blaze within the water which many described as an “eye of fire.”
In a press release, Petróleos Mexicanos, also known as Pemex, announced that a blaze started around 5:15 a.m. local time after a gas leak in its 12-inch submarine pipeline in the Ku-Maloob-Zaap oil field.
The oil field located off the coast of the Mexican states of Tabasco and Campeche is Pemex’s most important oil center, according to a Reuters report.
The outlet also reported that the “turbomachinery of Ku Maloob Zaap’s active production facilities were affected by an electrical storm and heavy rains.” The incident report from Pemex did not reveal what caused the gas leak.
According to the oil company, emergency officials “immediately” responded to the scene of the incident and used security protocols with assistance from nearby fire fighting vessels located on Santa Cruz Island, Campeche Bay, and Bourbon Alienor.
Pemex workers used nitrogen to control the blaze five hours later after closing the valves of the pipeline, ending the gas release and extinguishing the fire.
No injuries have been reported and the oil company was able to continue production at its facility after the incident. Pemex added that the root cause of the incident is being investigated.
Terrifying videos of the incident went viral on social media, with many users calling the large blaze within the water an “eye of fire.”
There was no reported oil spill after the fiery occurrence, according to Angel Carrizales, the head of Mexican oil safety regulator ASEA, who confirmed the report in a social media statement.