Sep 18, 2012 / 9:56 pm
A big fire erupted at a natural gas pipeline distribution centre near Mexico's border with the United States on Tuesday, killing 26 maintenance workers and forcing evacuations of people in nearby ranches and homes.
Mexico's state-owned oil company, Petroleos Mexicanos, initially reported 10 deaths at the facility near the city of Reynosa, across from McAllen, Texas. Later, the death toll was raised to 26, including a man who was run over when he rushed onto a highway running away from the facility.
Pemex said at a news conference Tuesday night that the fire was extinguished in 90 minutes and the pipeline was shut off. The pipeline carries natural gas from wells in the Burgos basin.
The company's director-general, Juan Jose Suarez, said four of those killed were Pemex employees and the rest were employed by contractors. He told reporters in Reynosa that 46 other workers were injured, including two hospitalized in serious condition. Suarez said they haven't found any evidence showing it was an attack.
Company executives said there was a gas leak, followed by an explosion, but the precise cause had not been determined.
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