December 23, 2010 - Smoke plume from oil pipeline fire near Mexico City

Smoke plume from oil pipeline fire near Mexico City

On the morning of December 19, 2010, an explosion at an oil pipeline ignited an intense fire in San Martin Texmelucan, a small town about 50 miles east of Mexico City. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite acquired this image a short time after the blast. The burning oil generated a thick black plume of smoke that entirely blocks the ground from view.

According to news reports, the event occurred in a residential neighborhood, which is not near major oil refining or transportation facilities. The explosion and resulting fire killed 29 people, injured 52, and forced 5,000 people to evacuate. Of the injured, at least five are reported to be in grave condition.

Image Facts
Satellite: Terra
Date Acquired: 12/19/2010
Resolutions: 1km ( B), 500m ( B), 250m ( B)
Bands Used: 1,4,3
Image Credit: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC