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October 21, 2021
Gulf of Mexico fire: Gas leak responsible for 'eye of fire' in Mexican waters, says oil company

Gulf of Mexico fire: Gas leak responsible for ‘eye of fire’ in Mexican waters, says oil company

Orange flames resembling molten lava appeared to erupt from below the surface in videos that went viral on social media, which dubbed it an “eye of fire.” The fire broke out a short distance from a Pemex oil platform.

In a statement, Pemex said the fire, blamed on a gas leak from an underwater pipeline, began at 5:15 a.m. local time Friday off the coast of Campeche, west of the Yucatan Peninsula.

The fire, which was close to an oil platform, was put out by 10:45 a.m. local time, and no injuries or evacuations of the facility have been reported.

Videos of the fire, nicknamed the "eye of fire," circulated on social media.

Pemex said an investigation has been launched into the incident.

Angel Carrizales, head of Mexico’s oil safety regulator ASEA, wrote on Twitter that the incident “did not generate any spill,” according to Reuters news agency, but did not explain what was burning on the water’s surface.

Pemex, which has a long record of major industrial accidents at its facilities, said it would investigate the cause of the fire and said it shut the valves of the 12-inch-diameter pipeline, Reuters added.