The number of people killed by the explosion of an oil pipeline by the state oil company Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) rose to 66 and wounded, 76 injured, state governor Omar Fayad reported Saturday.
"The balance we have up to a few minutes ago (…) is 66 dead and 76 wounded," Fayad said at a press conference at the National Palace in Mexico City, where President Andrés Manuel was López Obrador .
"It's a tragedy that hurts us a lot, we're here to provide all the support, help for the residents, the victims, the victims," the president told reporters.
He added that the misfortune "does not change" his strategy against fuel theft and rather shows "unfortunately" the need to maintain it. "We will continue to eradicate this practice," he added.
The fire was put down shortly before Saturday midnight (6.00 GMT), so it is expected that the public ministry will access the disaster center and check if there are more dead and injured, said Omar Fayad, Governor of the state of Hidalgo, where the accident
"Unfortunately I saw the explosion, I went to help a lot of people," says Fernando García, a 47-year-old resident of the area. "I had to put aside pieces of people that had already been discarded," he adds.
In the place, surrounded by crops, elements of the army and the police cordon outside the area while the fire fighting units work between columns of smoke.
Garcia criticizes that the army did not retract the people who were approaching when the fuel started to go out.
"All this would have been prevented if the army, once arrived, had thrown away all the people," he said.
Before the fire was extinguished, a huge glow and a huge column of smoke were erected on the explosion area, while several emergency vehicles surrounded the perimeter.