PEMEX LPG Terminal explosion in San Juan Ixhuatepec, Mexico City, Mexico


The PEMEX LPG Terminal in San Juan Ixhuatepec, Mexico City, Mexico, received supplies from three gas refineries every day, although on November 18th, 1984 it was almost empty and was being refilled from a refinery 400km away.

On the morning November 19th a drop in pressure was noticed by the control room and a pipeline pumping station, but the operators were unable to determine that the cause was the rupturing of an 8" pipe connecting one of the spheres to a series of cylinders. The release of LPG continued for between 5 and 10 minutes, resulting in a 2m high cloud covering an area of 200m by 150m.

When the cloud reached the flare tower the first explosion occurred, and emergency shutdown procedures were too late to halt the catastrophe. BLEVEs continued for approximately an hour and a half as vessels exploded, further spreading burning LPG.

The resulting fires and explosions destroyed the terminal, killing approximately 500 people, and were powerful enough to register on a seismograph at the University of Mexico.

Similar?

The PEMEX sewer explosion in Guadalajara involved the same company.