Mexico City: The death toll in Friday’s gruesome explosion caused due to the breaking of a gasoline pipeline in Tlahuelilpan, a town about 80 miles north of Mexico City, has surmounted to 66.
CNN quoted Hidalgo Governor Omar Fayad as saying that at least 76 people were injured in the explosion and the blaze that is still continuing.
The state oil company, Pemex, in a statement, said that the explosion was caused by illegal taps in the pipeline, following which Fayad called on the community not to steal gasoline.
Pemex also stated that the people who reside in the immediate vicinity of the pipeline, which runs from the cities of Tuxpan to Tula in the state of Veracruz, have been evacuated.
The oil company said that the explosion would not impact gasoline distribution in Mexico City.
After being briefed about the explosion, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador tweeted, “I am very sorry for the serious situation in Tlahuelilpan due to a pipeline explosion. I am in Aguascalientes and since the director of Pemex and the defense secretary briefed me, I gave instructions to contain the fire and treat the victims.”
Video footage released after the incident showed the locals collecting the oil in buckets, garbage cans, and other containers, while the fuel gushed out into the air.
“I urge the entire population not to be complicit in fuel theft,” said Governor Fayad. “Apart from being illegal, it puts your life and those of your families at risk,” he added.