A giant ring of flames erupted on the ocean’s surface in the Gulf of Mexico Friday — setting social media ablaze as stunning aerial footage of the “eye of fire” went viral.
The bright orange fire west of the Yucatan Peninsula was sparked by a leak from an underwater pipeline, according to Mexican state oil company Pemex.
It took more than five hours to fully contain the blaze, which broke out near a Pemex oil platform at around 5:15 a.m., authorities said. No injuries were reported.
Company workers used nitrogen to control the inferno, which resembled molten lava swirling on the water.
Dramatic footage of the incident was trending on Twitter Friday, with users dubbing it an “eye of fire,” due to its circular shape.
The pipeline connects to Pemex’s flagship Ku Maloob Zaap oil development; the county’s most important, producing 726,000 barrels of oil per day.
The incident “did not generate any spill,” Angel Carrizales, head of Mexico’s oil safety regulator ASEA, wrote on Twitter in Spanish. He did not explain what was burning on the water’s surface.
An internal investigation into the cause of the fire is underway.
With Post wires
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