At least 21 were killed and more than 70 people injured after a ruptured Pemex pipeline exploded north of Mexico City.
The pipeline had been spewing fuel for several hours near Pemex’s Tula refinery, and hundreds of people had reportedly gathered round with plastic containers and even vehicles to grab whatever fuel they could carry – rendering the eventual explosion that much more deadly.
Videos posted on social media, apparently from the scene, show flames shooting dozens of meters upwards as people scurry around screaming, RT reported.
Pemex said in a statement that the fire was because of illegal siphoning at the Tuxpan-Tula pipeline in Tlahuelilpan.
The site has been secured by the Mexican Army, according to Hidalgo state governor Omar Fayad. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has made cracking down on fuel thieves a priority, stating that the siphoning cost the government over $3 billion in 2018.
Just minutes after the explosion, another Pemex pipeline exploded in Paso de Mata, near San Juan del Río, sending yellow fireballs into the air. No one was reported injured in that blast.