Tlahuelilpan (Mexico), Jan. 20:
An toll in the explosion and fire in central Mexico rose from 20t at least 73 people after hundreds swarmed to the site of an illegal fuel-line tap to gather gasoline amid a government crackdown on fuel theft, officials said.
Hidalgo state governor Omar Fayad announced that the toll had increased to 73 after the discovery of five additional bodies.
The blast — which Fayad said injured 74 people — occurred near Tlahuelilpan, a town of 20,000 people about an hour’s drive north of Mexico City.
As soldiers guarded the devastated, still-smoking scene, forensic specialists in white suits worked among the blackened corpses — many frozen in the unnatural positions in which they had fallen — and grim-eyed civilians stepped cautiously along in a desperate search for missing relatives. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, a leftist who took office only weeks ago, traveled to the scene early Saturday.