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Second fuel pipeline explodes in Mexico

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A pipeline in Mexico exploded while people were stealing fuel from it , near where a similar blast this month left 115 dead, an official said .The new blast struck Monday in the central state of Hidalgo , about 50 kilometres ( 30 miles) from the site of the explosion 10 days ago .

State governor Omar Fayad said there were no initial reports of anyone being injured in the latest explosion, in the town of San Agustin Tlaxiaca.

Fayad said people had been “ milking ” the pipeline .

Media broadcast footage of large flames billowing out of a punctured section of the line .
A similar blast on January 18 in the town of Tlahuelilpan happened after thieves punctured a gasoline pipeline and up to 700 people showed up to fill jugs and other containers .

Illegal pipeline taps are a dangerous but lucrative business whose players include powerful drug cartels and insiders from the state oil company Pemex.

Pilfered fuel costs on average about half the price of regular gasoline . It is estimated that such theft costs the country three billion dollars a year .

( AFP )

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