Death toll in Mexico tanker blast rises to 14

Death toll in Mexico tanker blast rises to 14

MEXICO CITY - The death toll from a tanker truck explosion in Mexico rose to 14 on Tuesday, almost a week after it blew up as a group of people tried to steal its fuel.

After the truck hit some trees in the southern state of Tabasco on Thursday, local people near the town of Huimanguillo tried to take its contents, despite warnings from authorities to leave the area.

The explosion killed two people on the spot, while the rest have died in hospitals in the days that followed.

The death toll had stood at 10 on Monday, but the Tabasco prosecutor's office reported on Twitter four new deaths.

The safety of tanker trucks has come under the spotlight since one blew up while delivering gas to a Mexico City maternity hospital in January, destroying the facility and killing two babies and five adults.

In May 2013, 25 people died when a gas tanker's container came loose on a highway north of Mexico City, setting nearby homes and cars on fire.

The country has also been plagued by fuel thefts, but it has usually been through illegal taps of pipelines by drug cartels, costing $1 billion (S$1.36 billion) last year.

State energy firm Pemex decided in February to stop shipping ready-to-use gasoline through the pipelines to deter thefts.

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