Oil Pipeline Explodes in Mexico After Drug Cartel Tries to Steal Fuel Sending Flames 16 Feet Into the Sky and Causing Mass Blackouts

Fifteen foot flames were seen in Leon, Mexico after criminals caused an explosion while trying to tap into an oil pipeline

An oil pipeline has exploded in the Mexican city of Leon in the aftermath of a botched attempt to steal fuel by one of the country’s notorious drug cartels.

Flames reaching as high as sixteen feet were the only lights some residents of the central Mexican city could see on Saturday night as the explosion caused mass blackouts.

The explosion occurred after a group of ‘huachicoleros’ – cartel bandits who steal petrol and adulterated alcohol – were trying to pilfer oil from the pipeline when they accidentally caused the explosion.

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The country’s army was called in to keep watch over the blaze to ensure the safety of Leon’s residents.

Firefighters eventually got the blaze under control without any recorded injuries.

The pipeline in question belongs to the state-owned oil firm Pemex, which is one of the world’s largest petroleum companies.

Theft from oil pipelines has become a large industry in Mexico for the country’s notorious cartels.

Gangs of ‘huachicoleros’ scale the country, drilling into unguarded pipelines to steal thousands of litres of oil at a time.

With Pemex’s status as Mexico’s largest oil company, the practice has become a drain on the nation’s public finances.

It has been reported that the cartel’s activities deprive the state of more than £1 billion in revenue every year.

Mexican President Manuel Lopez Obrador ordered the temporary closure of some of the country’s largest oil pipelines in an attempt to combat the problem.

SOURCE: Daily Mail, Stefan Boscia

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