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Mexico pipeline explosion death toll increases to 66


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The death toll from a pipeline explosion in central Mexico has risen to 66, according to Hidalgo state governor Omar Fayad.

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 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.”

 

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

It is now likely to further intensify efforts to crack down on the illegal taps and focus attention on Mr Lopez Obrador’s fight against the illegal fuel theft industry.

Video footage showed dozens of people in an almost festive atmosphere gathered in a field where a duct had been breached by fuel thieves.

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

In an early morning press conference on Saturday, Mr Lopez Obrador vowed to continue the fight against the billion-dollar illegal fuel theft industry.

https://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/world/mexico-pipeline-explosion-death-toll-increases-to-66-898623.html

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