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A ruptured gas pipeline set fire to the ocean’s surface in Mexico

Taking more than five hours to extinguish, a huge blaze – caused by a ruptured gas pipeline – raged just a few hundred metres from a drilling platform run by Mexico’s state-owned oil company, Pemex.

Last week, record breaking temperatures swept across parts of Canada and the US.

Hundreds are thought to have died in forest fires triggered by the heatwave which brought a drastic increase in lightning strikes, power outages, and melted infrastructure.

The catastrophe has forced many to come to terms with the true gravity of our current climate crisis – and world leaders will be hard-pressed to ignore calls for immediate action.

To top it all off, social media was inundated with overwhelming concern this weekend as it was discovered the ocean’s surface had, quite literally, set on fire.

Now-viral video footage shows scenes akin to the volcanic hellscape of Mordor from Lord of the Rings, with commentors aptly naming the huge blaze an ‘eye of fire.’

The circular inferno formed west of Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula, caused by a gas leak from an underwater pipeline belonging to Pemex.

According to a statement, the state-owned oil company has the situation under control and an investigation is underway. It’s not immediately clear how extensive the damage to nearby marine life has been, though one can’t imagine it’ll be positive news.

Taking more than five hours – and a fleet of ships dousing water onto the flames – to extinguish, head of ASEA tweeted that ‘no spill’ was generated. It wasn’t until the valves connected to the pipeline were shut off, however, that the leak could be stopped.

While no injuries were reported, the incident is yet another stark reminder of how disastrous our dependence on fossil fuels can be.

‘The footage is pretty alarming: It looks like the gates of hell are opening up,’ said senior manager for science initiatives at Ocean Conservancy, Chris Robbins in response.

‘This appears to have been snuffed out pretty quickly, but I do think it raises those questions. As long as we’re drilling for oil and natural gas, these kinds of accidents, unfortunately, are going to continue to occur. It’s the risk we face on a daily basis’

Given this isn’t the first time Pemex has reported such an issue in recent years (in 2015, four workers were killed in an explosion at one of its sites, to name just one), Robbins stresses that it’s due time we met the demands for a change in the energy model.

Perhaps now, the pleas will be heard.

 

 

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