Death toll from Mexico pipeline blast reaches 91, Pemex defends response

Death toll from Mexico pipeline blast reaches 91, Pemex defends responseHundreds of people near the small town of Tlahuelilpan in Hidalgo state rushed to collect fuel from a gushing duct which authorities said was punctured by suspected thieves, and dozens were caught in the explosion that followed. The blast followed severe shortages of gasoline in central Mexico after President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador in late December launched a major crackdown on fuel theft, ordering pipelines closed in a bid to thwart the criminal activity. Some people at the blast site said those shortages had encouraged local residents to try to make up the deficit by collecting fuel from the ruptured pipeline – a version of events that was backed up by officials in the state government.



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