Mexico fuel theft tragedy death toll rises to 125

2019-02-04 11:02
Mexican soldiers standing guard near a fire after a leaking gas pipeline triggered a blaze in Tlahuelilpan, Hidalgo state, on January 18, 2019. (AFP)

Mexican soldiers standing guard near a fire after a leaking gas pipeline triggered a blaze in Tlahuelilpan, Hidalgo state, on January 18, 2019. (AFP)

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The death toll from a fiery pipeline explosion in central Mexico last month reached 125, the government announced on Sunday.

Another 22 people remain in hospital, many of them with burns covering at least 80% of their bodies, the social security office IMSS reported.

On January 18, the fuel-line in Hidalgo state was deliberately punctured, drawing hundreds of people looking to gather gasoline before it ignited.

The disaster occurred as the government wages a huge effort to clamp down on fuel theft, which costs Mexico an estimated three billion dollars in 2017.

So-called "huachicol" - as the stolen fuel is known in Mexico - costs about half of market price.

Mexico is regularly rocked by deadly explosions at illegal pipeline taps, a dangerous but lucrative business whose players include powerful drug cartels and corrupt Pemex insiders.

Read more on:    mexico
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