It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
A huge blast at a gasoline pipeline on Friday evening killed at least 66 people in Central Mexico and injured at least 76 others. The death toll could rise considering “many of the gravely wounded are battling between life and death,” the governor of Hidalgo state, Omar Fayad, said. The explosion in Tlahuelilpan, a small town around 60 miles north of Mexico City, was caused by an illegal tap in the pipeline, according to state oil company Pemex. Dispatches from Tlahuellipan describe a gruesome scene of bodies piled on top of each other. Although officials said they are launching an investigation into the cause of the blast, Alejandro Gertz, Mexico’s attorney general, said “there was no doubt” it was the result of an illegal tap to steal fuel. Gertz also said that the investigation won’t be easy considering all of those who were closest to the site of the blast appear to have died. Video posted online showed how moments before the blast, dozens of people had gathered at the illegal tap to fill buckets and other containers with fuel. Although there was military personnel on hand, video shows they stayed on the sidelines with officials explaining that the number of troops were not enough to stop all the people who had gathered at the site of the illegal tap.
The explosion came less than a month after Mexico’s new president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, launched a crackdown on the rampant problem of fuel theft through illegal taps that cost the government billions of dollars a year. Pemex says its pipes were tapped an average of 41 times a day in the first 10 months of last year, which marked a 45 percent increase from the previous year. “Although it hurts a lot, we have to continue with the plan to end fuel theft,” the president said at a news conference. “We will not stop. We will eradicate this.” He also defended the army from claims that soldiers should have done more to prevent the tragedy in the first place.
originally posted by: fedeykin
a reply to: seattlerat
The media is reporting this as if they were some kind of gang of organized fuel thieves, when in reality it was just poor people from the local town trying to fill buckets with the fuel which was spilling out near their homes.
Is it a coincidence that the fire started after the military and police failed to disperse the crowds? Well, the real question is, why would I be discussing this on a conspiracy website if I didn't have some suspicions?
Hidalgo state police said the leak was first reported at about 5:00 p.m. local time.
“There was a report that residents were on the scene trying to obtain fuel,” according to a police report. Two hours later, the pipeline burst into flames. It is not the first time such an accident has occurred. In December 2010, authorities blamed oil thieves for a pipeline explosion in a central Mexico near the capital that killed 28 people, including 13 children. That blast burned people and scorched homes, affecting 5,000 residents in an area six miles (10 kilometers) wide in San Martin Texmelucan.
Lopez Obrador launched an offensive against the $3 billion per-year fuel theft industry after taking office December 1. Thieves drilled about 12,581 illegal taps in the first 10 months of 2018 and the country has deployed 3,200 marines to guard pipelines and refineries.