(AP) Flames touch the gas pipeline in the black night sky of Mexico. People flee in panic, screaming in all directions. The video footage shows the chaos after an explosion on a petrol line on Friday night in the state of Hidalgo. At least 85 people were killed in the accident, 72 injured are still being treated in various hospitals, as announced by Mexican health minister Jorge Alcocer. After the initial investigation, it is conceivable that the explosion was caused by the friction of the clothes of the people who had gathered around the leak, said the Attorney General of Mexico, Alejandro Gertz Manero. In addition to gas leaked gas from the line.
At the time of the explosion, several hundred people were close to the line, according to local media reports. At the fuel line in the town of Tlahuelilpan, about 80 kilometers north of Mexico City, a leak had formed, local residents approached to bring petrol into buckets or cans. The friction of synthetic materials could cause electrical reactions, according to attorney general Gertz Manero, and the statically loaded clothes could have turned on the gas. "There was a lot of movement in an area full of gas," says Gertz Manero. There are no arrests or expenses related to the accident.
Investigations are under way
The investigation would not rule out anything, said President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. The truth in the background will be discovered and punished those responsible, the leftist politician. The strategy in the fight against the petrol service will not have changed. "We will not give up."
Many of those injured suffered serious or very serious injuries, said Hildalgo Governor Omar Fayad. Some people have been reported missing by relatives, a journalist reported on the TV channel "Milenio TV". However, it is not clear whether they are dead or in the hospital. Many of the victims were burned too hard to identify them quickly. In the light of the sun on Saturday, the scope of the fire was revealed: around the pipeline, the earth is blackened by the meter.
On Friday afternoon, according to the TV channel "Milenio TV", an opening on the line was reported. The state oil company Pemex said it was an attempt to intercept illegal between the cities of Tuxpan and Tula. When the news broke out, people rushed in line to fill the gas – which is a criminal offense in Mexico.
At the end of December, the government began to change the distribution system in light of the massive increase in interception attempts. Some lines have been closed, fuel is transported in monitored tank trucks. In many service stations this has led to long queues and panic purchases in recent weeks. If so many people in Tlahuelilpan wanted to use the alleged possibility of gasoline due to the lack of gas, it was not possible initially to confirm it. Local media reported that fuel was missing in the region.
The night after the accident, people tried to reach the place of the accident to look for the family members. Soldiers and policemen held her back. Now, the demand is stronger, because the area around the leak in the fuel line has not been sealed before the explosion. A video from the TV channel "Milenio TV" shows soldiers armed to the gas pipeline before the explosion – they let people walk quietly with the containers towards the leak.
Gas theft has long been a problem in Mexico
(dpa) Since the number of attempts to intercept gasoline from power lines has increased enormously in recent years, the government under political connection Andrés Manuel López Obrador has decided to change the distribution system. Some lines were closed, the gas now leads to protected tank trucks.
In Mexico, according to the state oil company Pemex, every 30 minutes, an illegal attempt was made to tap into a supply line. Stolen gas trade and smuggling is a $ 1 billion criminal organization in the Latin American country. However, attempts to touch are not without risks: there are regular explosions on the pipelines and the alleged thieves are injured or killed.
But the new government tactics have led to long queues at service stations and sales of hamsters in the Latin American country. Regular reports and images of waiting drivers and people with containers can be seen in local media. As a result, in some states there were gas shortages, service stations remained completely closed and panic purchases followed.