Mon. Jun 17th, 2024

Twenty die, 71 hurt as Mexico oil pipeline explodes

Twenty die and 71 hurt as Mexico oil pipeline explodes

MEXICO

At least 20 people have died and more than 70 injured after a leaking pipeline triggered a massive fire in central Mexico.

About 300 locals were rushing to steal the oil when at least 20 were burned to death on Friday evening, Omar Fayad, governor of Hidalgo state said.

The pipeline, in the town of Tlahuelilpan, 60 miles north of Mexico City, exploded after thieves drilled an illegal tap, state oil company Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, said.

Video taken before the fire showed the oil spouting metres into the air as people approached with buckets at about 5pm local time (11pm GMT).

Screams could be heard as flames then shot into the night air.

He added that before the explosion the army had activated its emergency civil relief plan for disasters, which is in response to disaster situations that could affect a large group of civilians.

The wounded are being transferred to state and private hospitals which have been told to expect multiple casualties, Mr Fayad added.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has launched a major crackdown on increasing fuel theft, which has cost the country more than £2.3bn last year, according to the government.

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