From the Field
Many killed in massive Mexico pipeline explosion
MEXICO CITY, January 21, 2019 – At least 85 people have died and many more were injured in Mexico after the punctured Tuxpan-Tula pipeline in Tlahuelilpan, Hidalgo state exploded, international media reported Friday.
Videos shared on social media show hundreds of people using buckets to collect fuel from the gushing pipeline. It is unclear from various reports whether the leak was caused by an illegal tap, or if a previous tap had been fixed and gave way when the line was turned back on.
Parts of Mexico have experienced fuel shortages in recent weeks, as the government implements measures to halt theft from Pemex pipelines, mainly by criminal gangs. The crackdown has led to delays in fuel transport from refineries and terminals to retail stations, causing locals to wait in line for hours to fill up their petrol tanks.
However, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has said he remains firm in his approach to ending widespread theft. “Rather than stopping the strategy, the fight against the illegality and theft of fuel will be strengthened,” Bloomberg cited the president as telling reporters following the pipeline explosion.