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A horrifying video has fueled the debate over the dangers of oil drilling.
The viral footage was captured Friday after a hellish blaze erupted in the Gulf of Mexico. Reuters reports the fire broke out around 5 a.m. local time in the Ku Maloob Zaap oil field operated by Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex). Officials for the Mexico state oil firm attributed the fire to a gas leak from an underwater pipeline connecting to a platform at the oil development. The firm said the incident was linked to an electrical storm and that company workers used nitrogen to completely extinguish the fire by 10:30 a.m.
“The incident was dealt with immediately when the security protocols were activated and with the accompaniment of nearby firefighting vessels such as Santa Cruz Island, Campeche Bay and Bourbon Alienor,” Pemex said in a statement.
The firm also claimed “normal operating conditions” have since been restored, and that “no injuries or evacuations [were] reported.”
Angel Carrizales, the executive director of Mexico’s safety, energy and environment regulator ASEA, addressed the incident Friday afternoon, stating the leak and blaze were handled in accordance with its Emergency Response Protocols. He also tweeted that the leak didn’t generate a spill, but as Reuters points out, the official did not explain what was burning on the surface of the water. Premex said its team is still investigating the matter.
Environmental activists and Democratic leaders used the opportunity to slam big oil as well as U.S. lawmakers who support them.
“Shout out to all the legislators going out on dinner dates with Exxon lobbyists so they can say a Green New Deal is too expensive,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wrote.
“bUT CAn wE aFFord CLimaTE aCtion,” tweeted Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz.
You can check out other reactions to the video below.