Photos: Veracruz Tanker Fire Extinguished

Published Sep 26, 2016 9:30 PM by The Maritime Executive

Mexican national oil company Pemex announced on Sunday evening that the fire on the product tanker Burgos has been extinguished.

The fire broke out on Saturday at 1140 hours at an anchorage off Veracruz, and it engulfed two cargo tanks towards the bow of the ship. The 31 crew abandoned ship safely and were rescued by Mexican Navy responders. 

Pemex announced the conclusion of firefighting efforts at 1815 Sunday, roughly 30 hours after the fire broke out. A dozen vessels with 100 crew from the Port Authority and the Navy responded; they inundated the blaze with nearly 19,000 gallons of AFFF, which eventually smothered the flames. Additional supplies had to be flown and shipped in from facilities along the coast. 

The tanker was carrying diesel and gasoline, and authorities said that its double hull prevented the majority of the product from spilling. Most of the petroleum that went over the side was consumed in the flames and the remainder will likely dissipate, as it is light, volatile product, officials said. Thousands of feet of containment barriers have been set up around the Burgos as a precautionary measure. 

Salvors and insurance company representatives are already on scene to assess the damage. Pemex CEO José Antonio González Anaya traveled to Veracruz to coordinate the firm's response effrorts with local and federal agencies. 

Authorities are still investigating the cause of the explosion and the subsequent fire.

The 25,000 dwt Burgos (ex name African Future) was built in 2005 and chartered to Pemex in 2008. 

Pemex has suffered a series of accidents this year, several of them fatal. 

In April, more than 30 people died and dozens were injured in an explosion at a petrochemical plant in southeast Veracruz state, a joint venture between Pemex and another firm.

In February, three died and 26 were injured in a platform fire on Pemex's Abkatún-A facility in the Bay of Campeche. A fire on the Permanente platform in the same complex killed four in April 2015.