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Mexico fuel explosion death toll rises to 107

Updated

By Agence France-Presse

The death toll from a fiery pipeline explosion in central Mexico reached 107 Thursday, the government announced, with 40 people also injured in the blast last week.

The ground is scorched where an oil pipeline exploded in Tlahuelilpan, Hidalgo state, Mexico, Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Alexis Triboulard / MANILA BULLETIN)

The ground is scorched where an oil pipeline exploded in Tlahuelilpan, Hidalgo state, Mexico, Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Alexis Triboulard / MANILA BULLETIN)

Last Friday, the fuel-line in Hidalgo state was deliberately punctured, drawing hundreds of people looking to gather gasoline before it ignited.

The disaster occurred as the government wages a huge effort to clamp down on fuel theft, which costs Mexico an estimated $3 billion in 2017.

So-called “huachicol” — as the stolen fuel is known in Mexico — costs about half of market price.

Mexico is regularly rocked by deadly explosions at illegal pipeline taps, a dangerous but lucrative business whose players include powerful drug cartels and corrupt Pemex insiders.

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