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20 Jan, 2019 07:35

Death toll rises to 76 in Mexico pipeline blast – local media

The death toll from an explosion at a ruptured oil pipeline in Mexico’s central Hidalgo state has climbed to 76, according government officials, cited by local media. The blast occurred after locals had gathered around a ruptured Pemex pipeline to collect fuel that was spilling out. The state-owned petroleum company said the fire was caused by fuel thieves illegally drilling into the pipe. The site has since been secured by the Mexican Army. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has made cracking down on fuel thieves a priority, claiming that the government lost over US$3 billion in 2018 due to illegal fuel siphoning.