Fire erupts in Gulf of Mexico after undersea gas pipeline ruptures

Credit: Eoin Higgins/Twitter

A fire erupted on the surface of the Gulf of Mexico after the state-owned oil company suffered a rupture in an undersea gas pipeline. Petroleos Mexicanos said it had dispatched fire control boats to pump more water over the flames. Pemex, as the company is known, said nobody was injured in the incident in the offshore Ku-Maloob-Zaap field.

The leak near dawn on Friday occurred about 140 metres from a drilling platform. The company said it had brought the gas leak under control about five hours later.

However, the accident gave rise to the strange sight of roiling balls of flame boiling up from below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico.

It was unclear how much environmental damage the gas leak and oceanic fireball had caused. Miyoko Sakashita, oceans program director for the Centre for Biological Diversity, wrote that “the frightening footage of the Gulf of Mexico is showing the world that offshore drilling is dirty and dangerous.” Sakashita added, “These horrific accidents will continue to harm the Gulf if we don’t end offshore drilling once and for all.”