A massive fire broke out at a partially flooded Pemex refinery in southern Mexico Wednesday, leaving nine people injured and forcing the evacuation of over 500 people from homes near the plant.
The state-owned oil company Pemex said none of the injuries were life-threatening and all nine ended up treated and released.
A huge column of flames and thick black smoke poured out from one part of the refinery complex.
The refinery’s operations had been suspended Tuesday because of heavy rains from the remnants of Tropical Storm Calvin, which had partly flooded some parts of the plant. The company said the fire broke out after the floodwaters caused waste containment ponds to overflow, spreading oil around the plant.
The spilled oil “reached a point of ignition as a result of the flooding, sparking a fire,” Pemex officials said.
It said company employees were inside the facility, battling the fire. The facility is in Salina Cruz in the southern state of Oaxaca.
The Oaxaca state civil defense office said 550 people were being housed at shelters set up for residents from neighborhoods near the refinery.