A pipeline operated by Mexico’s state-owned oil company has exploded in the central state of Puebla, killing at least 22 people, authorities said.
State spokesman Noe Torres said that the explosion happened at a Petroleos Mexicanos duct where thieves were attempting to steal either gas or oil.
He said it isn’t yet known whether the explosion was caused by the attempted theft. No one has been detained.
Mr Torres said that the initial explosion early today in the city of San Martin Texmelucan was followed by four minor blasts. Hundreds of people fled the city, located 55 miles east of Mexico City.
Civil protection authorities, firefighters and military troops are investigating and trying to ensure there are no more explosions.
Valentin Meneses, interior secretary for the state of Puebla, said that in addition to the deaths, 32 people have been injured and taken to hospitals.
The explosion also has destroyed 32 houses and damaged 83.