Death toll rises after petrochemical plant blast in Mexico

Current death toll has risen to 32 after leak caused explosion at petrochemical plant last week.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Relatives of missing workers wait for news of their loved ones outside the Mexican national oil company Pemex's Pajaritos petrochemical complex, in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz state, Mexico, April 22, 2016.

The death toll after last week's explosion at a petrochemical plant in southeastern Mexico has risen to 32.

State oil giant Pemex and Mexican plastic pipe maker Mexichem released the toll in a joint statement on Sunday.

The vinyl petrochemical plant in the Gulf of Mexico's coast state of Veracruz is a joint venture by Pemex's petrochemical unit and majority owner Mexichem.

Pemex’s CEO said that the blast was caused by a leak but did not divulge how the leak occured.

The blast, at the site’s chlorinate 3 plant, spread plumes of smoke and left a strong stench of ammonia.

Per day, the plant produces around 900 tons of vinyl chloride monomer, also known as chloroethene which is an industrial chemical used to produce plastic piping.

The joint venture had forecasted sales of $260 million this year.

TRTWorld and agencies