Mexico’s state-owned oil company said a fire caused by a rupture in an undersea gas pipeline in the Gulf of Mexico is over, but videos showing efforts to put out what appears to be an underwater caldron of fire live on.
The "fire in the sea" was put out at 10:45 a.m. following a gas leak about 500 feet from a drilling platform, Pemex tweeted. No injuries were reported and the company said it took about 5 hours to bring the incident under control.
The company said it used boats to pump water over the underwater blaze, although nitrogen was also used to control the fire, Reuters reports, citing a Pemex incident report.
Mexican publications and journalists reporting on the incident shared videos showing a harrowing scene: A orange glow below the boiling surface of the ocean — and boats spraying streams of water, in an apparent attempt to put out the fire. One of the most popular videos quickly racked up more than 10 million views on Twitter.
"Never in your life forget the time humans caught the ocean on fire and then tried to put it out by spraying water on it," tweeted podcaster Dave Anthony.
#ULTIMAHORA | Explota línea submarina de #Pemex en la Plataforma KuSierra de 78 metros de profundidad. El accidente mantiene un incendio sobre la superficie, no se reportan lesionados. Tres barcos han apoyado para sofocar las llamas. Pemex no ha emitido ningún tipo de comunicado. pic.twitter.com/Yt5KRlo4o9
— Televisa Veracruz (@televertv) July 2, 2021
Social media has been awash with reaction to the videos, ranging from confusion to concern:
I am not sure how spraying water on a fire that is literally in the ocean is going to help put it out. I need someone to make it make sense for me.
— Christopher Bouzy (@cbouzy) July 2, 2021
Our official stance is we do not think the oceans should be on fire.
— The Good Liars (@TheGoodLiars) July 3, 2021
"The ocean is on fire” is one of those things that you can type and it’s true and yet it doesn’t feel believable https://t.co/EouJfQIbjq
— Brian Kahn (@blkahn) July 2, 2021
miami is sinking. the ocean is on fire. it's hotter in canada than it is in australia. and i still have to pay rent? pic.twitter.com/Vf7pDiFhqR
— beeee who yyyouuu arrrre 4your ppprrriiddeee (@HoodClarkKent) July 2, 2021
When you see the ocean literally on fire in the Gulf of Mexico, it's s time to move on from fossil fuels. https://t.co/x5zAO3nIM2
— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) July 2, 2021
EITHER THERE’S AN UNDERWATER FIRE IN THE GULF OF MEXICO OR WE’VE FINALLY OPENED THE PORTAL TO HELL.
— INVESTMENT HULK (@INVESTMENTSHULK) July 2, 2021
Various TikTok creators compared the underwater fire to the film, '2012' which documents cataclysmic natural disasters hitting Earth.
Contributing: Gabriela Miranda; The Associated Press
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Gulf of Mexico pipeline fire: Pemex says fire out; videos go viral