Pemex refinery during last week's fire. Pemex refinery during last week's fire.

Dust-up over clean-up at Salina Cruz refinery

Officials analyzing environmental effects of Pemex refinery fire

There were more people injured in a fight between union workers over clean-up operations than during the flooding and the fire that shut down a Oaxaca refinery last week.

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The worst was over at the Antonio Dovalí Jaime oil refinery in Salina Cruz yesterday when unionized workers quarreled over who would be in charge of clean-up efforts.

The Pemex refinery’s management assigned the work to employees belonging to the Confederation of Workers of México (CTM), led by Gloria Newman Estrada.

But a second group within the local chapter of the union, led by Hipólito Rojas Martínez, was unhappy with the decision and, armed with sticks and stones, faced off Newman’s contingent.

According to the local Public Security Secretariat, 20 people were injured, two vehicles were vandalized and 10 stores were looted.

The refinery has not said which of the two groups, if either, will carry out the work.

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Meanwhile, 10 brigades equipped with specialized equipment have started the mitigation phase to address the collateral damages caused by the refinery fire.

Manager Rogelio Ríos Benítez explained that part of their job will entail retrieving an unknown amount of oil that spilled into a nearby lagoon.

He added that along with the local Civil Protection office and the federal water commission (Conagua), his staff will analyze the danger presented by the “black rain” that fell during the fire.

Salina Cruz Civil Protection chief César Adrián García Pérez said that his staff have been analyzing water samples taken from pools of standing water in coordination with the state’s health institutions and the federal environmental agency Profepa.

He said a major concern is any water intended for human consumption that might have come in contact with the acid rain. In response, tanker trucks have been distributing clean water where needed.

The state Civil Protection office advised the public to avoid the refinery area, wash their hands regularly and be especially careful with hygiene in the preparation of food.

The head of the Water Commission of Oaxaca (CEA) said none of the four water reservoirs located within the city were contaminated.

Source: Milenio (sp)

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  • WestCoastHwy

    this is a fine example why mexicans shouldn’t be allowed to participate unless there are adults in the room. just untamed monkeys in a runaway circus.

    • harvey

      or people looking for income to feed their families.

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