May 18, 2021

Clandestine fuel tap explodes in Mexico and leaves 29 dead and 61 injured

Clandestine fuel tap explodes in Mexico and leaves 29 dead and 61 injured



A clandestine takeover in a pipeline of the state-owned company Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) exploded this Friday in the central state of Hidalgo with a preliminary balance of 29 dead and at least 61 injured

The accident occurred late in the afternoon of Friday in the municipality of Tlahuelilpan when dozens of people were carried in buckets and drums, the fuel that stagnated in the farmland.

"We report this tragic accident in which there are many people burned, who were in the place trying to collect fuel where the leak escaped," said state governor Omar Fayad in an interview with television channels Milenio and Foro TV.

The mayor of the municipality, Juan Pedro Cruz, told the media that the leakage of the pipeline was reported at 17.00 local time (23.00 GMT), when the place arrived elements of the Mexican Army, who cordoned off the area but could not control about 200 people who broke the siege and took the fuel.

He said that the agents asked the residents to leave the area but they did not pay attention and the tragedy happened.

"I am very sorry for the serious situation in Tlahuelilpan due to the explosion of a pipeline, I am in Aguascalientes and, since the director of Pemex and the Secretary of Defense informed me, I gave instructions to control the fire and attend to the victims, "wrote the president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador in a Twitter message

Meanwhile, the secretary of state government, Simón Vargas, said, in a first report, that they had accounted for 29 deaths and 61 wounded who were transferred to hospitals in the region.

When it exploded, the fuel created a kind of fire barrier where the greatest number of people were.

It is at this point, where the authorities believe that there may be more dead people since it was the place where there was more fuel.

Through a statement, Pemex reported that specialized personnel, in coordination with authorities at all levels, were attending the fire in the Tuxpan-Tula pipeline, at kilometer 226 in the municipality of Tlahuelilpan, Hidalgo, where the head of the Secretariat of Security and Caring Protection (SSPC), Alfonso Durazo.

The accident occurred at a time when several Mexican states continue to have fuel shortages two weeks after the start of the crisis due to the persistent sabotage of pipelines from Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex), which prevents a total restoration of supply and that led to the Executive to reinforce security in the area.

For 15 days, a dozen states have been short of gasoline due to a change in the supply model of Pemex because instead of pipelines, pipes (tankers) are used to put an end to the multi-million dollar theft of hydrocarbons that in 2018 caused losses of some 65,000 million pesos (3,416 million dollars).

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