The number of people who died in Friday’s explosion
has jumped to 85 and authorities say the figure may increase.
The Mexican Health Minister Jorge Alcocer revealed that the explosion that
occurred on Friday night has claimed dozens of lives with 58 persons receiving
treatment in the hospital and many others still missing. The victims were said
to have been involved in fuel theft.
The unfortunate incident happened in a rural area in the state of Hidalgo.
According to reports, the pipeline was punctured by criminals and hundreds of
villagers including those from the municipality of Tlahuelilpan rushed to the
scene to get free gasoline.
The government strategy which resulted in the fuel shortage that many Mexican
states are suffering now is said to have prompted the people to steal fuel.
The governor of Hidalgo, Omar Fayad confirmed that his state has had their own
share of the fuel scarcity.
Residents of the area who were seen at the explosion site on Saturday pointed
to the fuel scarcity as the major reason why people went to get fuel from the
illegal pipeline tap. According to them, residents could not go to work or
anywhere else because there was no fuel.
It took firefighters more than fours hours to put out the fire. The explosion
is reported to be one of the deadliest to have happened in Mexico in recent
times. In 2010, an explosion, which was also caused by illegal siphoning, left
many injured and homeless but it claimed 27 lives in San Martín Texmelucan de
The pipeline that exploded on Friday belongs to Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex), a
state-run oil company. The government has promised to foot the medical bills of
the injured victims as well as the funeral cost of those who died in the
explosion. Reports say that one of the victims, who is also a minor, has been
transferred to a reputable hospital for Children in Galveston, Texas. The child
sustained severe burns from the fire.