More details have come to light about the brave Mexico City firefighter who ran out of a building carrying a 45-kilogram LP gas tank, which was shooting out flames about three meters long.
Alexis Sánchez acted soon after 5:30 p.m. Saturday to avoid an explosion in a restaurant in Benito Juárez, southwest of the historic center, in what the media outlet Telediario compared to a scene from a Hollywood film.
Sánchez explained how the event unfolded: “We were trying to turn off the tank, but would not turn off because the valve was broken, so at the instruction of our superiors, it was ordered removed,” he said.
He added that he was the right person to be called upon. “We are a team of six to seven people, but I believe that it was my courage, the energy inside of me, that allowed me to remove the 45-kilogram cylinder,” he said.
The moment in which Sánchez fled the restaurant with the tank was caught on video and went viral online.
Once he placed the tank upright on the street outside, his colleagues attempted to spray the flames to extinguish them, but it wasn’t until one of the firefighters approached the tank to close the valve that the blaze was brought under control.
No reports of injury or material damage have been recorded, Telediario reported.
The manager of the restaurant, Arturo Quiroz, praised the firefighters. “For me, they are heroes — how they resolved the situation. The courage of this firefighter to take the flaming tank, to remove it and to try to avoid the greatest possible risk in the facilities, I am very grateful to the firefighters; the truth is they acted incredibly. I am still a little emotional about the situation: the truth is that we must all support the firefighters for these kinds of actions,” he said.
Twitter users were equal in their praise. “The firefighter who carried the burning gas tank on his shoulder. Medal winning … far surpasses any Marvel character!” wrote one Twitter user, comparing the Sánchez to a superhero from the Marvel movie franchise.
Another of the firefighters, Adrián Santana, explained the versatility demanded of him and his colleagues.
“What we usually attend to most are gas leaks. Anything that could be an emergency, but normally it is gas leaks, fallen trees and, yes, we attend fires … [but] a lot of people confuse us with only that,” he said.