President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has said he remains firm in his policy to end widespread gasoline theft after 85 people died and more were injured after the punctured Tuxpan-Tula pipeline in Tlahuelilpan, Hidalgo exploded on the evening of January 18.
The blast happened after hundreds of people gathered to collect fuel from the gushing pipe. Videos taken moments before the explosion show a tall geyser of fuel spraying hundreds of feet into the air, as the crowd milled around it. Around two dozen Mexican soldiers guarding the site did not try and prevent the crowd from approaching the geyser.
The president expressed his condolences and said everything will be done to ensure that families of the deceased are supported, including a welfare program to discourage economically challenged communities living near pipelines from stealing fuel.