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Smoke billows from a fire on a Pemex oil platform Sunday. Smoke billows from a fire on a Pemex oil platform Sunday.

5 dead after Pemex platform fire in Campeche Bay

Two workers are missing and six were injured in the Sunday afternoon blaze

Five people are dead and two people are missing after a fire Sunday aboard a Pemex offshore platform in Campeche Bay. Another six people were injured and one worker suffered from nervous shock.

Five of the workers were Pemex employees and eight were employed by Pemex contractors.

The fire started at 3:10 p.m. on the platform, part of a gas processing center located in the Ku-Maloob-Zaap oil field. It was brought under control at 4:30 p.m., Pemex said in a press release.

Reuters reported Monday that the natural gas valves on the platform were closed to extinguish the fire, shutting off gas supply to neighbouring oil fields. That triggered a decline in the availability of natural gas, which in turn caused crude output to plummet from 719,000 barrels a day to 275,000 early Monday, Reuters said, based on a company document it had seen.

Natural gas is reinjected into oil reservoirs to increase pressure and force the flow of oil.

It is the second fire at a Pemex installation in Campeche Bay since July, when natural gas leaked from an underwater pipeline and rose to the surface, where it caught fire.

Pemex said that fire was likely caused by a lightning strike. There were no casualties nor was there any damage to Pemex facilities.

The company said Sunday an investigation had begun but no further information had been released by early Monday afternoon.

UPDATED 4:42 p.m. Monday, August 23 with new information regarding the number of deaths.

With reports from Reuters

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