Second fuel pipeline explodes in Mexico

2019-01-29 16:58
A Mexican soldier stands guard while workers of the Mexican state-owned oil company Pemex and local firefighters work to control a fire believed to have started in a pipeline due to fuel-theft activity in the community of San Sebastianito, in Tlajomulco, jalisco state, Mexico, on April 3, 2018. (AFP, file)

A Mexican soldier stands guard while workers of the Mexican state-owned oil company Pemex and local firefighters work to control a fire believed to have started in a pipeline due to fuel-theft activity in the community of San Sebastianito, in Tlajomulco, jalisco state, Mexico, on April 3, 2018. (AFP, file)

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A pipeline in Mexico exploded while people were stealing fuel from it, near where a similar blast this month left 115 dead, an official said.

The new blast struck on Monday in the central state of Hidalgo, about 50km from the site of the explosion 10 days ago.

State governor Omar Fayad said there were no initial reports of anyone being injured in the latest explosion, in the town of San Agustin Tlaxiaca.

Fayad said people had been "milking" the pipeline.

Media broadcast footage of large flames billowing out of a punctured section of the line.

A similar blast on January 18 in the town of Tlahuelilpan happened after thieves punctured a gasoline pipeline and up to 700 people showed up to fill jugs and other containers.

Illegal pipeline taps are a dangerous but lucrative business whose players include powerful drug cartels and insiders from the state oil company Pemex.

Pilfered fuel costs on average about half the price of regular gasoline. It is estimated that such theft costs the country $3bn a year.

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