Pemex Pipeline Explodes After Attempted Fuel Theft
(Bloomberg) -- A pipeline operated by Petroleos Mexicanos in the central state of Puebla exploded over the weekend due to an attempted tapping of the pipeline by fuel thieves, leaving at least one person dead and many injured.
Firefighters were deployed at the site since the early hours of Sunday and families have been evacuated from the area, Mexico President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Twitter, lamenting the death of at least one person. The president, known as AMLO, also said that the fire had been controlled by Pemex. A Pemex official said no further information has been provided on the explosion.
Since the start of his presidency in late 2018, Lopez Obrador has made it his mission to crack down on the pilfering of fuel from Pemex pipelines, which had previously cost Pemex about $3.5 billion a year in losses. Pemex says that pipeline taps have fallen by almost 93% in the past three years, according to a company presentation. In January 2019, a pipeline tap resulted in the deaths of 137 people, after AMLO’s government shut off valves and installed military personnel at pipeline sites.
Puebla governor Manuel Barbosa said on Monday that 14 of 17 people remained in hospital after suffering injuries from a series of explosions due to the pipeline tap, according to national newspaper Milenio, and that there would be two days of mourning in Puebla for the victims.
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