(Adds background on stoppage, death of firefighter)
MEXICO CITY, June 15 Mexican state-owned oil
company Pemex on Thursday said it expects to begin startup
operations at its Salina Cruz refinery later in the day once it
extinguishes a large fire that completely shut down the plant.
The blaze, which killed a firefighter and injured nine
workers, broke out on Wednesday at the Pacific coast refinery in
the southern state of Oaxaca, Pemex said.
With a processing capacity of 330,000 barrels of crude oil,
Salina Cruz is Mexico's biggest refinery.
Pemex said it suspended much of its operations on Tuesday,
when Tropical Storm Calvin flooded the plant.
The rising waters broke containment dams, triggering a spill
of a type of heavy oil, which ignited on Wednesday morning at
the facility's pump house, driving Pemex to entirely halt
At least three large plumes of smoke were visible at the
plant throughout Wednesday, fed by leaping flames consuming the
All of the nine injured were released from the hospital,
(Reporting by Ana Isabel Martinez and David Alire Garcia
Editing by W Simon)