Mexico death toll from pipeline fire rises to 128

February 6, 2019 GMT

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexican officials say the death toll from a Jan. 18 fire at an illegally tapped gasoline pipeline has reached 128 after more of the injured passed away.

Mexico’s social security institute says that the most recent death occurred early Wednesday.

Sixty-eight people died at the scene of the fire in the town of Tlahuelilpan in the central state of Hidalgo. Residents had gathered in a field to fill containers with gasoline leaking from an illegal tap.

Eventually a geyser of fuel ignited and severely burned dozens. Sixty of the 81 hospitalized have since died. Nineteen people remain in hospitals.

The government has launched an offensive against fuel thieves who drill almost 15,000 illegal taps into government pipelines each year.