Mexico pipeline blast kills at least 79 people
Officials suspect the rupture was caused by suspected fuel thieves.
TLAHUELILPAN, MEXICO — Mexican officials say at least 79 people were killed in a fuel pipeline blast last Friday in the town of Tlahuelilpan, in Hidalgo state.
According to Reuters, suspected fuel thieves punctured the Tula-Tuxpan pipeline a few miles from one of the country's main refineries on Friday, causing a large get of fuel to rise into the air.
According to authorities, around 800 people scrambled to fill up containers from the 23-foot (7 meter) gasoline geyser.
A few hours later, the geyser erupted in flames in a powerful explosion.
During a press conference, Pemex chief executive Octavio Romero said the company was aware of a leak along the pipeline at around 16:50 local time.
According to BBC, locals said President Andrés Manuel López Obrador's new policy to crack down on fuel theft has created shortages.
Mexico says fuel theft cost the country about US$3 billion just last year. President López Obrador has said he will continue his anti-theft policy until the illegal practice was stopped.
NEXT ON TOMONEWS
NASA unveils massive main tank of rocket to Mars