Fuel pipeline blaze in Mexico kills 21, injures dozens

  • News Digest
- Agencies, TLAHUELILPAN (Mexico)

Jan 20, 2019-

A massive fire broke out at an illegal pipeline tap in central Mexico on Friday, killing at least 21 people and injuring 71 more, just as the government wages a major crack-down on fuel theft. Scores of locals with jerry cans and buckets had been collecting gasoline that was gushing from a leaking pipeline when an explosion occurred, according to witnesses. Video taken in the aftermath showed desperate people fleeing the scene, screaming for help, as the enormous fire lit up the night sky in Tlahuelilpan, Hidalgo state, 65 miles (105 kilometers) north of Mexico City. “I went just to see what was happening, and then the explosion happened. I rushed to help people,” Fernando Garcia, 47, told AFP. “I had to claw through pieces of people who had already been burned to bits.” The tragedy comes as the federal government is waging a highly publicized war on fuel theft, a problem that cost Mexico an estimated $3 billion in 2017.

Published: 20-01-2019 11:13

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