The fire broke out when local people were stealing gasoline from a leaked pipeline in Tlahuelilpan town, the central of Mexico.
A gas pipeline in Tlahuelilpan town, Hidalgo State, central Mexico today exploded. It caused a massive fire that killed at least 21 people and injured 71 people, AFP reported.
The governor of Hidalgo State Omar Fayad said that the explosion occurred when many people were using buckets and plastic cans to steal gasoline from leaking pipes. “This is the area where people often steal fuel, the local government knows about it before,” Governor Fayed added.
Fire and ambulance forces have been deployed to the scene. Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador expressed his grief over the tragedy and he aslo called on the government to help the affected people at Tlahuelilpan.
Mexico has faced with stealing gasoline which was caused by criminal gangs associated with workers of gas industry for many years. This led to a shortage of fuel in the country.
According to the research published in May 2017, during the period of 2009-2016, for every 1.4 km of gas pipelines owned by state-owned oil company Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex), there is a stealing tube. The value of stolen oil amounted to more than 7.4 million USD only in 2016.
In December 2018, President Lopez Obrador announced lots of plans to inspect the gas distribution network with the participation of the military. The Mexican government is considering moving gas by rail and road, although the cost is 12-16 times higher than the pipeline.