Mexican rig fire leaves three dead

Pemex says fire at platform in the Gulf of Mexico is under control.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |  Feb. 8, 2016 at 9:11 AM
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MEXICO CITY, Feb. 8 (UPI) -- Three rig workers died as a result of an accident at the Abkatun-A offshore drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico, the state oil company in Mexico confirmed.

State oil company Petróleos Mexicanos, known also as Pemex, said workers were evacuated from the platform and treated onshore at a hospital controlled by the company after a fire broke out during the weekend.

"Unfortunately there are three deaths from the accident," the company said in a message posted on Twitter.

At least one of the workers was employed by Pemex itself. Others were contractors.

The company provided no further information as to the cause of the fire or updates on the status of the investigation, though the fire is under control.

The company in May reported two fatalities as a result of a rig malfunction in the Gulf of Mexico. In April, a blaze on a platform in the Bay of Campeche in the southern waters of the Gulf of Mexico left four workers dead and more than a dozen others were injured.

The safety record comes as Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto tries to overhaul the energy sector by opening the country up to private investors after more than 70 years under a monopoly controlled by Pemex. The government set a goal of producing 3.5 million barrels of oil per day by 2025, which would be a 40 percent increase from 2013 levels.

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