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& # 39; The Burned Scream: Mexicans Seek Response After Pipeline Blast | News



Tlahuelilpan, Mexico – Claudia Zacarias Hernandez heard the screams flaming engulfed dozens that had gathered to collect fuel from a gushing rural pipeline in Mexico last week.

She was on the other side of the field in the small town of Tlahuelilpan about 105 km north of Mexico City when the tube exploded.

"All those who had been burned shouted," she told Al Jazeera as she was sitting on a small bank at the edge of the field waiting for news of her nephew who had missed.

"There were kids here," she said, the towers of the giant Tula refinery visible in the distance. "I feel terrible because I couldn't help. All the people were screaming and I couldn't help them."

Hernandez's nephew, Martin Alfredo, is one of the dozens still missing after the explosion. Ninety-five people have died and 51

were injured in Friday's explosion, officials said Monday.

Hernandez came to dozens of others who fought on the pitch at the weekend and were looking for a sign of hope that their loved ones were still alive.

Christopher Neri Carrillo (left) with his cousin, Javier Gonzalez Neri, holds a sign of Christopher's missing father [Tim MacFarlan/Al Jazeera]

Among them was Christopher Neri Carillo, who stuck a piece of paper with a man's face as he wondered on the track Saturday. The man is his missing father.

"Until this moment we do not know exactly what happened to him," Carillo Al Jazeera told.

"We know he left the house, but he hasn't come back yet," he said Saturday. "I'm worried that I can't find him, and I don't know if he lives if he's in the hospital, and if he is seriously hurt or if he's ok and is recovering. It's terrible. "

From Monday morning Carillo still had no word on her 48-year-old father.

Crackdown on fuel theft

The explosion came in the middle of a fuel crisis in Mexico, which the residents of the area were due to the government's breakdown of fuel.

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who took power late last year, has targeted the thieves, known as huachicoleros, by abolishing pipeline supplies most favored by saboteurs.

Trucks and railway wagons have been employed to move fuel around the country, often with police members, while the pipelines are idling. But the strategy has proven to be less efficient at transporting fuel, as Hidalgo, where the Tlahuelilpan is located, among more than fifty states faces deficiencies in the pumps.

According to Gonzalo Monroy, the head of Mexico-based energy consultants firmly GMEC, Pemex was in a rush to open the pipeline because of the shortcomings, reported Reuters news agency. He disputed reports that the pipeline had been illegally drained.

An engineer from the state-owned oil company Pemex told reporters on Monday that the leak was originally a "small sausage", but later grew into a "fountain". Mexican lawyer Alejandro Gertz said the incident will be investigated to determine whether negligence arose. Pemex maintains the following protocol.

Spectators watch the explosion site

It may take months before some of the restored organs are properly identified, said Hidalgo governor Omar Fayad Meneses. [19659004] Farmworker Gerardo Perez was about 500 meters away from the field at the time of the explosion.

"The explosion was very strong because there was so much gas around. It happened in a second. Nobody knew it was going to happen," he said.

The government said on Saturday that it would set up programs in the states of Hidalgo, Mexico State and Pueblo for the purpose of educating people about the dangers.

But Perez said it wasn't that people wanted to take the oil, but they must.

"We work as crazy, but at the moment there is nothing," he said, referring to a two-week shortage. "Somehow we have to get it."


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