Death toll in Mexico gasoline pipeline blast climbs to 94: Officials

Reuters
Mexico Updated: Jan 22, 2019, 09:16 PM(IST)

Military personnel at the Mexican pipeline explosion. Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Late last month, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador launched a program to shut down an illegal fuel distribution network that siphons off about $3 billion worth of fuel annually from state oil firm Pemex.

The number of people who died from a gasoline pipeline explosion in central Mexico last week has risen to 94, government officials said on Tuesday, from 91 reported a day earlier.

Half a dozen people interviewed by Reuters on Saturday said their relatives went to the leaking duct in Tlahuelilpan district in Hidalgo state because they struggled to find fuel elsewhere and were desperate to fill up cars to get to work or run their farms.

"A lot of innocent people came here, perhaps their car didn't have enough gasoline for tomorrow, and they said I'm just going to go for a few liters," said farmer Isidoro Velasco, 51, who was waiting for news of his nephew Mario Hidalgo, who he believed likely dead. Hidalgo turned 34 on Saturday.

Late last month, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador launched a program to shut down an illegal fuel distribution network that siphons off about $3 billion worth of fuel annually from state oil firm Pemex.

The plan, which involves shutting off pipelines compromised by gangs who fit valves to drain fuel, led to widespread gasoline shortages in central Mexico in January, including in Hidalgo, to the north of Mexico City.

On Saturday, most gas stations in Tlahuelilpan were closed.


 

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