Explosion in Mexico – level 3
An explosion has ripped through a petrochemical plant on the southern coast of the Gulf of Mexico, sending a toxin-filled cloud into the air. At least 3 people are known to have died with more than 100 injured, including 58 workers.
The blast happened at the Mexican national oil company Pemex in the Gulf state of Veracruz. The plant produces vinyl chloride, a hazardous industrial chemical that's used to make PVC pipes. The company has said the explosion, which sent a huge dark plume of smoke billowing upwards, happened in one of their top oil export hubs.
Carlos Ruiz was working at the site and said the lights started to go off before there was a loud boom.
A local hospital has put up a handwritten list of the injured being treated as worried family members arrived to check on their loved ones.
Residents were told to stay indoors because of the possible toxic nature of the smoke. The cause is unclear. Several explosions have been reported at Pemex facilities in recent years.
Difficult words: rip (to tear, to cut), blast (an explosion), hazardous (dangerous), huge (very big), plume (a tall cloud), billow (to move), hub (the centre).
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