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Atlantic Ocean Sets On Fire In Gulf Of Mexico

by : Hannah Smith on : 03 Jul 2021 09:09
Atlantic Ocean Sets On Fire In Gulf Of MexicoEoin Higgins/Twitter

A gas leak from an underwater pipeline has sparked an ‘eye of fire’ in the Gulf of Mexico.

The blaze, which occurred off the coast of Yucatan, Mexico, took firefighters more than five hours to put out but has now been fully extinguished.

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No injuries were reported in the blaze, which began close to an oil rig owned by Mexico’s state-owned oil company Pemex.

Footage posted to social media showed a giant circular fire burning on the surface of the sea, as fireboats shot jets of water in an attempt to put out the flames. Dramatic images from the inferno quickly began trending on social media, with the unusual shape of the fire leading many to dub it an ‘eye of fire’.

Other users said that the flames looked more like a gateway to hell.

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Pemex confirmed they had closed off the pipeline, which Reuters reports is part of the company’s flagship Ku Maloob Zaap oil development. At the time of the incident, the development was understood to be producing around 726,000 barrels of oil per day. The head of Mexico’s oil safety regulator said in a tweet that no oil had been spilled in the leak, though he was not able to confirm what was burning on the surface of the water.

An incident report shared with Reuters initially concluded the pipeline rupture was caused by a combination of ‘electrical storms and heavy rains.’

On social media, people quickly began pointing to the dramatic scenes as evidence of the danger of fossil fuels. ‘I know this might sound controversial, but maybe extracting fossil fuels from the seafloor (or anywhere really) is a bad idea,’ tweeted one campaigner.

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Greta Thunberg also shared footage of the accident, tweeting: ‘Meanwhile the people in power call themselves “climate leaders” as they open up new oilfields, pipelines and coal power plants – granting new oil licenses exploring future oil drilling sites.’

‘This is the world they are leaving for us.’

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Hannah Smith

Hannah Smith is a London-based journalist at UNILAD. After studying History at UCL she worked for print publications on both sides of the pond, including spells at Harper's Magazine and The Times, before graduating with an MA in Newspaper Journalism from City, University of London.

Topics: News, Mexico, no-article-matching, Now, Pacific Ocean

Credits

Reuters
  1. Reuters

    'Eye of fire' in Mexican waters snuffed out, says national oil company