Saturday, June 15, 2024

Huge chemical factory fire in México state leaves 2 injured

Firefighters from 11 municipalities in México state and Mexico City battled a blaze for six hours Sunday that led to two injuries and 100 homes being temporarily evacuated.

The fire occurred at two adjoining companies — including one that collects and recycles waste and one that sells diesel, gasoline and biodiesel — in Chicoloapan de Juárez, México state, some 30 km (18 miles) east of Mexico City. The city of 200,000 is considered part of the Greater Mexico City urban area. 

Fire crews
Teams from 11 municipalities in Mexico City and México state were present to control the fire, which briefly sprang back to life later in the day. (Cuartoscuro)

A column of black smoke could be seen from miles away. 

According to Chicoloapan Mayor Nancy Gómez, the fire originated in a plant belonging to the company Enermex, which according to its website sells fuel products like gasoline, diesel and biodiesel, after a truck within the company’s facility caught fire. The fire appears to have spread to another nearby company, Red Ambiental, a home and industrial waste collection company. According to media reports, firefighters had to smash down walls at Enermex in order to enter and fight the fire.  

The two now-gutted businesses are located near Chicoloapan de Juárez’s Central de Abastos, a wholesale-retail market.

Gómez said that the evacuation of 100 residents was only a precaution. The homes were not close to the conflagration, and no one was truly at risk, she said.

A black smoke cloud
Footage posted to social media showed a thick black cloud over the chemical fire. (Carlos S./Twitter)

The only injuries were to a firefighter who suffered smoke inhalation and a Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) employee who was onsite to help CFE personnel cut off the electricity and took a blow to the shoulder from debris. Authorities did not explain how the CFE employee happened to be hit by the debris. 

Some vehicles parked in the area sustained damage.

The fire started at about 1 p.m. Sunday and three hours later seemed to have been controlled, but an hour later, while firefighters removed debris, the flames reactivated, and another column of smoke arose. It took about an hour to get the new blaze under control.

With reports from El Universal and La Jornada

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