Pipeline Explodes in Mexico, Forces City to Evacuate

Thieves had been trying to steal oil
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 19, 2010 2:40 PM CST

A group of oil thieves appear to have accidentally blown up an oil pipeline today in central Mexico, sending flaming crude spilling through the streets of San Martin Texmelucan. The original explosion was followed by four more minor blasts, as the oil spread over a 3-mile radius, killing 22 people and injuring at least 32 more, Aol News reports. Hundreds have fled the city, where 32 homes have been destroyed and another 83 damaged.

“We saw rivers of fire in the streets,” an interior secretary for the state told local television. He thinks thieves were trying to nab oil, but “lost control because of the high pressure with which the fuel exits the pipeline.” Mexico’s state-run oil company, Petroleos Mexicanos, says it has shut down the pipeline. (More Mexico stories.)

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