Mexico Gasoline Pipeline Leak Detected Hours Before Fatal Blast


Mexico’s security minister Alfonso Durazo said on Sunday that Mexico’s state oil firm, Pemex, did not close the valve at a leaking gasoline pipeline when first notified because it was not initially thought to be an “important” leak.

Officials said the pipeline in central Mexico exploded on Friday, leaving 85 people dead from up to 800 people gathered to collect fuel from a 23-foot gasoline geyser. Two hours later, it erupted into flames

They directed renewed scrutiny toward the new president’s ambitious strategy to stop fuel theft, his first major offensive to stamp out corruption and organized crime.

Some relatives of the victims said fuel shortages stemming from President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s plan led people to fill plastic containers with gasoline on Friday at a leak in the Tula-Tuxpan pipeline, a few miles (km) from a major refinery.


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