From the Field
Mass evacuation caused by Mexico gas leak
PUEBLA, September 13, 2018 – Power was cut and thousands of people were evacuated in Puebla after fuel thieves caused a massive gas leak while attempting to illegally tap an underground Pemex pipeline, international media reported Thursday.
The leak was reported on Wednesday around 4am when highly flammable clouds of gas were seen forming above the ground. By 9am, Pemex was able to seal the leak, but due to fears of a possible explosion, seven neighbourhoods, 17 schools, one hospital and several businesses had to be cleared.
Illegal tapping and fuel theft has been a growing problem for Mexico’s NOC, with nearly 10,400 hot taps registered in 2017. So far in 2018, the cost of such sabotage to Pemex and other private players is estimated to be around USD 416 million.