77 F
Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Condolences sent to Mexico as pipeline death toll rises to 66

Sad details emerge the day after a horrible tragedy in central Mexico

Latest headlines

Pig farm accused of hiding cenotes and filling them in with cement

A pig farm in the municipality of Homún is being accused of filling in and hiding two cenotes from environmental authorities. 

New augmented reality app tells the story of Mérida’s iconic corner plaques

Mérida´s municipal government is launching a new mobile phone application to tell the story of the city’s iconic Centro corner plaques.

Tortas in the Park: Family carries on the tradition for 63 years 

Taqueria Don Beto in Parque Las Américas. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht Strolling through charming Parque de...

Kankí, the Maya city where the stone eyes of ancient gods burn as hot as the sun

Kankí may be only 10 miles or so from the Mérida-Campeche highway, but feels a world away.
Yucatán Magazine
Yucatán Magazine has the inside scoop on living here. Sign up to get our top headlines delivered to your inbox every week.
Soldiers guard the area by an oil pipeline explosion in Tlahuelilpan, Hidalgo on Friday. Photo: Secretary of National Defense

Tlahuelilpan, Hidalgo — A massive fireball on Friday erupted at an illegal pipeline tap in Mexico, killing at least 66 people. Another 85 are missing.

Here is how events unfolded throughout Saturday.

2:30 p.m.

Condolences and an offer of help: The government of Chile said it mourns the tragedy and stands in “firm solidarity with the government and people of Mexico.”

It also offered to help Mexican authorities in any way needed.

Argentina’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs also sent condolences for the victims and said it hoped for the speedy recovery of the wounded.

1:30 p.m.

Carnage: Civilians ignored soldiers’ warnings to stay clear of a geyser of gasoline that later exploded, said local resident Gerardo Perez Gutierrez.

Only a handful of the remains on the site still had skin, he said. Dozens of corpses were burned to the bone.

1 p.m.

Military response: Mexican Defense Secretary Luis Cresencio says 25 military personnel arrived on the scene Friday before the explosion.

Sent to warn locals to steer clear, they were outnumbered by a public eager to fill their gas tanks. Personnel reported they witnessed at least 600 civilians congregating around a gusher of fuel shooting 6 meters/20 feet into the air.

Cresencio says there are 50 soldiers stationed every 20 kilometers (12 miles) along the duct. They patrol 24 hours a day.

But the soldiers have been ordered not to engage with fuel thieves out of fear of an escalation.

12:45 p.m.

More thefts: Pemex Chief Executive Octavio Romero says there have been at least 10 perforations of pipelines over the past 90 days near the explosion.

One of those perforations resulted in a fire Dec. 18. It took 12 hours to extinguish, he said.

9 a.m.

Vows probe: President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said the attorney general’s office will investigate the pipeline rupture.

An investigation to determine whether the explosion was intentional.

Lopez Obrador called on townspeople to give testimony not only about Friday’s tragedy, but also about the entire black market chain.

7:45 a.m.

Rising death toll: Hidalgo Gov. Omar Fayad said the death toll — initially in the 20s — rose to 66, with over 85 more still missing.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador three weeks ago launched an offensive against fuel theft gangs.

The tragedy is now likely to further intensify efforts to crack down on the illegal taps.

- Advertisement -

Subscribe Now!

More articles

Court sets limits for ‘racist’ immigration checkpoints in Mexico

Mexican soldiers review documents at a Zacatecas checkpoint in March. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP via Getty Images

You won’t miss the meat or dairy in these recipes from Yucatán

Vegan, vegetarian and plant-based lifestyles are easy to enjoy, despite living in meat-centric Yucatán.  Now that we’ve listed our...

Yucatán COVID patient 1st to die in 49 days

Coronavirus cases rose steadily in a week that ended with Yucatán's first COVID fatality since April 2. A...

Expats in Mexico face impossible deadline to comply with new tax law

Taxpayers in Mérida wait for their numbers to be called at the SAT office. Photo: File A tax...

What is the Loop Current and how does it affect hurricanes on the Yucatán Peninsula?

A current of warm tropical water is looping unusually far into the Gulf of Mexico for this time of year, with the power to turn tropical storms into monster hurricanes.

Izamal revamps its infrastructure while seeking investment

A walking tour of Izamal includes Mayor Warnel May Escobar and Yucatán Gov. Mauricio Vila Dosal. Photo: Courtesy

Mexico looks to its southern neighbors for investment and international cooperation

Historically Mexico’s economic footprint regarding its neighbors to the south has been negligible at best, aside from a few large corporations such as Banco Azteca and Bimbo. 

Activists in Mérida observe International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia

Trans pride flag flies over the Monumento a la Patria on Paseo de Montejo. Photo: Courtesy Jornada Maya

The Most Famous Mexican Mathematicians

Photo by Nothing Ahead via Pexels By James Collins The subject of mathematics can be...

Mexico’s COVID-19 vaccine contracts to remain a state secret until 2025

The true cost of Mexico’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign will not be known until well after the next round of federal elections....