17 injuredSunday, March 23, 2014
Mendoza: six YPF oil tanks blow up
Six oil tanks exploded yesterday at a treatment plant run by state energy company YPF, affecting more than three percent of the firm’s total output of crude and leaving at injuring at least 17 people.
YPF said its nearby Luján de Cuyo refinery, which produces 106,000 barrels of oil per day, was drawing on oil from back-up deposits and operating normally.
Local TV broadcast images of a large oil tank ablaze at the Cerro Divisadero treatment plant in the province of Mendoza, around 1,400 kilometers southwest of Buenos Aires.
The company said the fire and explosion affected the entire treatment complex, forcing the closure of ten deposits that produce 1,460 cubic meters (51,559 cubic feet) of crude per day. The ten tanks make up 3.8 percent of YPF’s total output.
“The plant was totally destroyed,” YPF reported yesterday. “The fire maintains its intensity and the situation remains critical. We informed the provincial and national authorities about the situation and we are working with them to control it.”
The National Highway 40 in its connection with Provincial Highway 186 was closed by the local police due to the low visibility, as well as the areas of Laguna de Llancanelo, Volcán Malacara, Cascada de Manqui Malal, Turcará, Caverna de las Brujas, Paso Pehuenche and Neuquén.
“This was an accident. Somebody made a mistake on a maneuver or it could have been a mobile phone that created static,” Cristian Alcalá, Environment secretary of Malargüe, said yesterday. “There are no weather conditions that could have led to the fire.”
Herald with Reuters