An underwater pipeline owned by state oil company Pemex in Mexico began leaking gas, causing a blaze in the Gulf of Mexico resembling molten lava, Reuters reports.
The oil production facility accounts for more than 40% of the company’s 1.7 million barrels of daily production. The fire reportedly “began in an underwater pipeline that connects to a platform” at the company’s facility, though no specific cause of the gas leak or fire is known.
A local reporter shared video of the calamity on Twitter.
Although there have not been any reported human fatalities or injuries, there are concerns about the damage to marine life in the Gulf. The fire has since been extinguished.
Climate justice advocates see the gas leak is another sobering reminder of the dangers of fossil fuels and the failure to fully advance alternatives.
The Gulf of Mexico has been a site for previous disasters caused by oil production. In 2010, a BP oil rig exploded, releasing over 130 million gallons of crude oil into the body of water, making it the biggest oil spill in U.S. waters.
As the Gulf borders southern states with disproportionately Black populations, the BP oil spill was seen as the final straw in the already dwindling population of Black fisherman who once earned a living in commercial fishing in the Gulf states.