Death toll from Mexico pipeline explosion rises to 66

Death toll from Mexico pipeline explosion rises to 66

Hidalgo state Gov. Omar Fayad says the death toll from a pipeline explosion in central Mexico has risen to 66, Trend reports citing The Associated Press.

Over 85 other people on Saturday were listed as missing a day after a massive fireball erupted at an illegal pipeline tap in the small town of Tlahuelilpan, about 62 miles (100 kilometers) north of Mexico City.

Municipal health director Jorge Aguilar Lopez said: “What happened here should serve as an example for the whole nation to unite behind the fight that the president is carrying out against this ill.”

It came just three weeks after new President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador launched an offensive against fuel theft gangs that drilled dangerous, illegal taps into pipelines an astounding 12,581 times in the first 10 months of 2018, an average of about 42 per day.

With crowds of townspeople often involved, either aiding thieves or collecting spilled fuel in primitive containers, it was only a matter of time before a fire occurred.

In fact, they have occurred before, but seldom with the scale and horrifying death toll of Friday's fire in the state of Hidalgo, which came as people collected the spilled gasoline in buckets, plastic jugs and garbage cans.

The leak was caused by an illegal pipeline tap in the small town of Tlahuelilpan, about 62 miles (100 kilometers) north of Mexico City, according to state oil company Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex.

Video footage showed dozens of residents in an almost festive atmosphere as whole families gathered in a field as a geyser of fuel spouted dozens of feet into the air from the tap.

Footage then showed flames shooting high into the air against a night sky and the pipeline ablaze. Screaming people ran from the flames, some themselves burning and waving their arms.

Hidalgo Gov. Omar Fayad said 21 people were killed immediately and 71 suffered burns in the blast at the duct that carries fuel - apparently gasoline - from the Gulf coast to Tula, a city just north of Mexico City.

Pemex attributed the blaze to "the manipulation of an illegal tap."

Hidalgo state police said the leak was first reported at about 5:00 p.m. local time.

"There was a report that residents were on the scene trying to obtain fuel," according to a police report. Two hours later, the pipeline burst into flames.

And another pipeline burst into flames in the neighboring state of Queretaro on Friday, because of another illegal tap. Pemex said the fire near the city of San Juan del Rio was "in an unpopulated area and there is no risk to human beings."

In December 2010, authorities blamed oil thieves for a pipeline explosion in a central Mexico near the capital that killed 28 people, including 13 children.

That blast burned people and scorched homes, affecting 5,000 residents in an area six miles (10 kilometers) wide in San Martin Texmelucan.

The blast will further focus attention on Lopez Obrador's fight against the $3 billion per-year illegal fuel theft industry.

"I greatly lament the grave situation Tlahuelilpan is suffering because of the explosion of the duct," Lopez Obrador tweeted. He called on all branches of government to assist the victims.

He launched the offensive after taking office Dec. 1, deploying 3,200 marines to guard pipelines and refineries. His administration also shut down pipelines to detect and deter illegal taps, relying more on delivering fuel by tanker truck. There aren't enough trucks, however, and long lines at gas stations have plagued several states.

But Lopez Obrador faces resistance in his battle against fuel theft. Gangs have been able to win the loyalty of whole neighborhoods, using free gasoline and getting locals to act as lookouts and confront military patrols carrying out raids against the thefts.

It is unclear whether Friday's tragedy will turn the tide of opinion against the gangs in the impoverished villages that lie above the underground pipelines.

“I am calling on the entire population not to be accomplices to fuel theft,” Fayad wrote. “What happened today in Tlahuelilpan must never happen again.”

Chamber of Commerce hopes Iran's trade to improve as COVID-19 spread declines
Chamber of Commerce hopes Iran's trade to improve as COVID-19 spread declines
Iran to hold conference on electrical engineering
Iran to hold conference on electrical engineering
Iranian, Spanish FMs exchange views on economic, trade coop.
Iranian, Spanish FMs exchange views on economic, trade coop.
Loading Bars
Latest
Chamber of Commerce hopes Iran's trade to improve as COVID-19 spread declines
Iran to hold conference on electrical engineering
Weekly review of Azerbaijani oil market
Uzbekistan to restore air communication with Saudi Arabia
Georgian Parliament Speaker to pay official visit to Brussels
Britain reports 2,027 new COVID-19 cases, seven deaths
Emergency session of OIC to be held on May 16 at Turkey’s initiative, Ankara says
Turkey aims to create electric vehicle market
Uzbekistan imported more than 200 million liters of gasoline in Jan-Apr 2021
Iranian, Spanish FMs exchange views on economic, trade coop.
Kazakh, Polish, Ukrainian and Arabian airlines to resume flights to Batumi
All international airlines halt air service with Israel
IDF confirms its strike on Gaza building after advance warning to civilians
Azerbaijani and Tajik FMs discuss situation on Azerbaijani-Armenian border
Fitch Ratings forecasts inflation rate in Azerbaijan for 2021-22
Nordwind launches direct flights from St. Petersburg to Baku from May 18
US ambassador to Azerbaijan, USAID director meet with Azerbaijani MP
Shooting occurred on border with Iran, two Azerbaijani border guards were killed
Suez Canal starts dredging work to extend double lane
At least 2,300 missiles fired at Israel from Gaza Strip since May 10
Africa's COVID-19 cases pass 4.67 mln: Africa CDC
Turkish Airlines resumes flights to Azerbaijan's Ganja (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan shares data on number of vaccinated citizens for May 15
France's import value of Turkish cement rises
Azerbaijan confirms 377 more COVID-19 cases, 1,318 recoveries
Azerbaijan's government budget deficit to narrow in 2021-2022 - Fitch Ratings
Azerbaijan's olive oil company entering Russian market
Turkey's revenues from exporting electrical goods to France increase
Fitch Ratings anticipates Azerbaijan's GDP growth in 2021
Value of Georgia's import of Turkish clothes grows
China's import value of Turkish electrical goods up in 4M2021
Turkey unveils number of ships docking at Tuzla port in 1Q2021
French import of grains from Turkey rises in value
Fitch predicts growth in foreign direct investments in Azerbaijan
U.S. requires inspections for wire failure on Boeing 737 Classic planes
Azerbaijani oil prices rebound
Iran hoping to overcome 4-th peak of COVID-19
Iran worried about blackouts due to cryptocurrency mining at homes
Georgia increases exports of beer
Kazakhstan's import value of Turkish electrical goods disclosed
Kazakhstan’s postal operator to engage repair services via tender
Kazakh energy company opens tender for buying isolators
Uzbekistan's import value of Turkish electrical goods notably up
Walmart says fully vaccinated employees can go without masks starting Tuesday
Azerbaijani president, first lady visit secondary school No 1 and Saint Elisæus Jotaari Church in Nij settlement, Gabala (PHOTO)
Georgia reports 1,576 new cases of COVID-19
Iran hopes to start exporting gas if Vienna talks are successful
Iran's 4M2021 import of Turkish grains doubles in value
Turkey reveals 1Q2021 volume of cargo shipment via Trabzon port
Value of Turkish cement export to Germany rises
EBRD to back development renewable energy projects in Georgia
Azerbaijani president, first lady attend opening ceremony of Gabala Railway Station and Laki station - Gabala single-track railway (PHOTO)
Azerbaijani president, first lady attend opening ceremony of new bridge over Bum River, road to Bum settlement after renovation (PHOTO)
Azerbaijani president, first lady visit Albanian Church of Blessed Virgin Mary in Nij settlement, Gabala (PHOTO)
Azerbaijani president, first lady arrive in Gabala district (PHOTO)
Iran inaugurating more projects in Chabahar port
Romania’s Romgaz lowers natural gas output q-o-q
No provocative actions against Russian peacekeepers noted in Karabakh - MoD
Casualties due to landmines in Azerbaijani liberated territories addressed at online conference
India: Modi releases 8th instalment of PM-KISAN benefits
Fitch revises outlook on Azerbaijan's IDR
Armed forces spearhead India’s Covid battle
UN Secretary-General counts on cooperation with Russia in supporting peace and stability
Romgaz’s investments turn out to be 39% less than planned
Spain logged hottest year on record in 2020
Romgaz sees over 7% decrease in Q1 2021 revenues
Khari Bulbul festival in Azerbaijan's Shusha became message to the world - MP
TAP AG joins other partners to submit White Dragon for IPCEI status
UAE urges Mideast ceasefire, offers condolences to all victims
Vienna Energy Research Group talks Iran's capacity in oil production, int'l oil sales
Iran to invest in Afghanistan's infrastructure projects
Petrochemical revenues to become less volatile, says McKinsey & Co.
Tickets for UEFA EURO 2020 matches in Baku up on sale (PHOTO)
Georgia’s subsistence minimum up
Azerbaijan to have two routes to Turkey within BTK corridor
Europe has right conditions for "safe reopening" of tourism in summer - EU Commissioner
Georgian-Lithuanian co-op facilitates freight transport between China, Europe - Ministry
Jan.-Apr. 2021: Georgian wine export up 15%
Demand for domestic tourism on the rise in Kazakhstan
Some 300 applicants register for Presidential elections in İran
Turkey’s 87 tech zones exports reach $5.8 billion
China's probe lands on Mars
Kazakhstan keen to cooperate with Spain in water resources management
Number of active U.S. drilling rigs increases this week
Cuba reports record number of daily COVID-19 cases
Japanese lawyer implores Tokyo to cancel Olympics, 350,000 sign petition
Romania to ease COVID-19 restrictions from Saturday
U.S. city Columbus agrees to pay 10 mln USD to family of unarmed black man killed by police
3 rockets fired from Syria toward Israel
Indonesia reports 2,633 new COVID-19 cases, 107 new deaths
Turkey reports over 14 400 COVID-19 cases)
New project 'Log in Georgia' to give access to high-speed internet to people in rural areas
Head of Kazakhstan holds meeting with World Bank Vice President for Europe and Central Asia
Lithuanian company launches innovative complex solution in Azerbaijan's financial sector
5.2 mln Ethiopians in restive northern region need food aid - UN
Improved coronavirus conditions lead to further relaxation of restrictions in Cyprus
Israel's annual inflation up 0.8 pct, highest in nearly 2 years
Chairs of Azerbaijani Parliament, Turkish National Assembly talk issues of mutual interest
COVID-19 kills 202 more Iranians over past 24 hours
Lithuania gifts 15,000 Covid-19 vaccines to Georgia
All news