Disasters & Accidents

Pipeline blast in Mexico leaves 1 dead

Huimanguillo, Mexico, Oct 7 (EFE).- One person was killed and numerous homes damaged Friday in an explosion on a gas pipeline in the southeastern Mexican state of Tabasco.

The blast occurred around 6:30 am along a stretch of the conduit running through the municipality of Huimanguillo, some 70 km (43 mi) from Villahermosa, the state capital.

“It was horrible. We saw the fire which was burning the pipeline and then the explosion. We all ran out of our homes trying to save ourselves, and the roar of the fire was heard,” area resident Mario Hernandez recounted.

People in the affected communities said that they alerted authorities late Thursday about an uncontrolled escape of gas from the pipeline, operated by state-owned Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex).

“The explosion awakened all of us,” Maria Martinez said. “My asbestos roof is destroyed.”

Army troops assisted municipal first responders and Pemex firefighters in establishing a security perimeter.

The explosion coincided with a visit to the state by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, a Tabasco native, who inspected Pemex’s Olmeca refinery in the port city of Dos Bocas.

The fatality was identified as Natividad Hernandez, 65, who perished in the ensuing blaze while cycling to the farm where he worked. EFE ml/dr

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