20 dead, 71 injured in ruptured pipeline explosion outside Mexico City

TEHRAN, Jan. 19 (MAN) – A huge fire exploded at a pipeline leaking fuel in central Mexico on Friday, killing at least 20 people and badly burning 71 others as locals were collecting the spilling gasoline in buckets and garbage cans, officials said.

The leak was caused by an illegal tap that fuel thieves had drilled into the pipeline in a small town in the state of Hidalgo, about 62 miles north of Mexico City, according to state oil company Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, NBC news reported.

Video footage showed dozens of residents near the town of Tlahuelilpan gathered to collect spilled fuel in buckets, garbage cans and other vessels. It appeared 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. Screams could be heard.

MNA/NBC

News Code 141650

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