MEXICO CITY – A fuel tanker continued to burn off the Gulf coast of Mexico on Sunday, a day after it erupted in flames.
Firefighting boats were battling the blaze aboard the Burgos, which is owned by state oil company Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex. A large plume of smoke from the burning ship could be seen from the port of Veracruz.
Firefighters have been using a chemical extinguisher against the fire, according to the Veracruz Port Authority. They declined to speculate late Saturday on when the fire may be put out.
Mexico's environmental protection agency, Profepa, said Sunday in a statement that a mile (1 ½ kilometers) of containment booms were deployed to prevent any fuel from reaching the coast.
Pemex said fuel seen on the water was what mixed with the water used to fight the fire and will dissipate. The Burgos was carrying about 168,000 barrels of gasoline and diesel.
The ship was about 7 miles off the coast when it called for help at 11:30 a.m. Saturday. All crew members were rescued without injury.
At the time of the incident, the Burgos was sailing from Coatzacoalcos in eastern Veracruz state to the Pemex terminal, Port Authority Director Juan Ignacio Fernandez said late Saturday.