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3 dead, dozens injured as blast rocks Coatzacoalcos facility

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MEXICO CITY — A blast at an oil facility in south-eastern Mexico has killed at least three workers, injured 30 more and triggered a mass evacuation, officials and state-run energy giant Pemex said.

A huge plume of toxic grey smoke could be seen spewing from the plant known as Pajaritos, in the city of Coatzacoalcos.

The blast, which was felt from as far as 10 kilometres away, forced the evacuation of nearby schools and businesses.

The cause of the explosion at the Petroquimica Mexicana de Vinilo plant was not immediately known. The facility is jointly owned by Pemex.

Veracruz state governor Javier Duarte told Milenio Television that the blast killed three people at the plant.

Mr Duarte rushed to the scene of what he said was “a very strong explosion”, as fire crews were battling to bring the fierce blaze under control.

People living in the vicinity were ordered to remain indoors.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto said on Twitter that the government would help the “affected workers and neighbours of the area.”

Fires at oil facilities in Mexico are fairly regular occurrences.

In February, two people were killed and at least seven injured in a blaze at a Pemex oil platform off the coast of Campeche, also in the south-east.

AFP

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PM congratulates Nepali national cricket team

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KATHMANDU— Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has congratulated Nepali national cricket team for being able to clinch the International T20 series.

PM Oli in a tweet extended best wishes and congratulations saying he was very happy to know Nepal’s win over the UAE by 14 runs in the third match of the series.

Winning T20 series is another landmark success for Nepali cricket, he said, adding, “It is big achievement for Nepal’s cricket. I would like to heartily congratulate entire members of Nepali cricket squad”.

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