(MEXICO CITY) LATEST: Early morning explosions, apparently caused by an illegal tap on a gas line, shook the central city of Puebla on Sunday, killing at least one person, injuring 11 and damaging dozens of homes #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Nov.02: Puebla Governor Miguel Barbosa said an emergency call warning of a gas smell and cloud in the area gave officials about 80 minutes to evacuate some 2,000 people living as far as a kilometre from the leak before the first of three explosions, which came shortly before 3am.

#AceDailyNews says according to an Associated Press Report: Mexican city of Puebla was rocked by explosions that are believed to be caused by illegal tap on pipeline, if there had not been an evacuation and there had not been coordination, there would have been a tragedy of great proportions,” the governor said.

Play Video. Duration: 1 minute 11 seconds
Gas blast kills one, injures 15 people in the city of Puebla, Mexico.

Officials said at least 54 homes were destroyed or damaged in the San Pablo Xochimehuacan district of Puebla, a city of 1.7 million people. At least two of the injured were in critical condition.

People watch on as large flames rise into the air.
The explosion destroyed or damaged at least 54 buildings in Puebla, Mexico.(AP: Pablo Spencer)

Officials also briefly evacuated 37 patients from a nearby hospital, but it was back in service hours later after suffering only minor damage, such as broken windows.

The governor said rescue teams with dogs were searching for more possible victims, though there were no reports of missing people.

Javier González of the government’s Petróleos Mexicanos company said the tap apparently was installed on a property where officials found a tanker truck and 25 gas cylinders. Across the street is a gas distribution company.

Officials said 1,400 soldiers, National Guard troops, police, firefighters and rescue personnel were working in the area following the explosions.

The governor vowed to “get to the bottom” of who was responsible for the explosion.

An aerial shot of some destroyed homes in Mexico.
Authorities warned the toll could have worse if they had not been able to evacuate thousands of people.(AP: Pablo Spencer)

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador offered condolences to victims of the blast. Early in his administration, he crusaded against thieves who tap into gas and fuel lines — even shutting down major fuel ducts to get rid of thieves.

But official reports indicate that as recently as March, Mexico was losing an average of 4,000 barrels a day of gasoline and diesel to such taps, which were sometimes guarded by local communities who saw them as a resource.

An illegal tap of a gasoline line caused an explosion that killed at least 134 people in the town of Tlahuelilpan, north of Mexico City, in 2019.

People had gathered in a field to fill containers with gasoline leaking from the line.

#AceNewsDesk report …………..Published: Nov.02: 2021:

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