Dozens of people have been killed in Mexico after a gas facility near the US border burst into flames. It is believed to have been one of the worst accidents to hit the state-run Pemex energy firm in recent years.
At least 26 people were killed and as many injured early Tuesday in the blaze at the Pemex gas plant in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas. According to Pemex, the death toll was significantly higher than previously reported.
"Regrettably, the number of workers who died in this morning's accident in Tamaulipas rose to 26," the company said on the social networking site Twitter.
Four of the dead were Pemex workers while another 22 others were contractors, the company said. Another 27 were injured.
Television footage showed images of flames leaping from the site, near the city of Reynosa, with rescue workers seen treating injured workers. Fire-fighters have now brought the blaze under control.
Pemex said experts were still investigating the fire, the third such incident at a Pemex facility in little over a month.
On August 13, an explosion rocked a refinery in the nearby city of Ciudad Madero, injuring four people. A fire at a pipeline in the central state of Hidalgo broke out on the same day after thieves apparently tried to steal diesel. Illegal tapping of pipelines is often cited as a major cause of fires in the region.
Pemex accounts for 40 percent of Mexico's government revenue and was once considered the world's fourth biggest oil company.
ccp/jm (AFP, Reuters)