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Mexico Pipeline Explosion Kills 28

Emergency workers and firefighters work at the scene after a pipeline explosion in San Martin Texmelucan, Mexico, 19 Dec 2010

Mexican authorities are investigating an explosion at an oil pipeline in Puebla State that killed at least 28 people, including at least 12 children.

Officials say the blast may have been set off by thieves trying to steal crude oil, but have not ruled out a possible mechanical malfunction.

Puebla state officials described the scene in the town of San Martin Texmelucan as "rivers of fire in the streets." At least 30 homes were destroyed and dozens more damaged, forcing people to flee for their lives. More than 50 people were injured.

Mexico Pipeline Explosion Kills 28
Mexico Pipeline Explosion Kills 28

The state-owned Pemex oil company said the pipeline was carrying crude oil under high pressure.

Fuel theft is rampant in the area, with hundreds of millions of dollars lost each year.