Thousands evacuated after Pemex gasoline leak in western Mexico

Reuters News
Posted: Oct 30, 2013 2:14 PM
Thousands evacuated after Pemex gasoline leak in western Mexico

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Thousands of people were evacuated in western Mexico on Wednesday morning after thieves tapping a pipeline run by state oil monopoly Pemex caused a major gasoline leak.

Authorities in the state of Jalisco said there were no reports of casualties after the local government ordered some 7,500 people to be evacuated from the affected area.

Television footage showed a large column of gasoline shooting skywards near the town of Tlajomulco south of the state capital Guadalajara, Mexico's second biggest city.

Arturo Zamora, Jalisco's state interior minister, told reporters the leak was under control and that locals in the outermost reaches affected by the incident could be allowed back to their homes from early Wednesday afternoon.

Pemex, whose pipelines are frequently the target of attacks by thieves, said it shut down the flow of gasoline as soon as the leak was detected.

The Energy Ministry said this month that Pemex has reported fuel thefts worth some $4.7 billion over the past five years.

(Reporting by Lizbeth Diaz; Editing by Bob Burgdorfer)