Updated: April 21, 2016 2:09 AM ET | Originally published: April 20, 2016 10:30 PM EDT

A blast at a Mexican petrochemical factory killed at least three people and injured dozens on Wednesday afternoon.

Officials are not sure what caused the explosion at the facility, located in the state of Veracruz and owned by Pemex, Mexico’s national oil company, Reuters reported. The blast occurred shortly after 3 p.m. and send a cloud of noxious black smoke into the sky, prompting Pemex to urge locals to avoid the site.

The company said 136 workers had been injured and 88 of those remained hospitalized, the Associated Press reported. Veracruz state Gov. Javier Duarte said more than 2,000 people had been evacuated from the area.

This is the second fatal incident to blight Pemex’s record in recent months. In early February, a fire on an oil-processing platform in the Gulf of Mexico owned by the state firm killed three workers and injured seven more.


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