Mexican oil company says blast was caused by outside work

The Associated Press

A deadly gas pipeline explosion in northern Mexico was caused by construction workers who hit the pipe with excavating machinery, the state oil company said Wednesday.

MEXICO CITY (AP) — A deadly gas pipeline explosion in northern Mexico was caused by construction workers who hit the pipe with excavating machinery, the state oil company said Wednesday.

The federal National Agency for Industrial Safety reported that four people died in the blast late Tuesday and said it was investigating what happened. Previously, officials had given a death toll of five.

The state oil company, Petroleos Mexicanos, said the dead were working on a construction project near the city of Monterrey that had nothing to do with Pemex. The explosion sparked a fire fueled by gas remaining in the pipeline.

Gas pipelines in Mexico are often poorly marked and such accidents are not uncommon.

Pipelines in Mexico are also frequently targets of illegal taps drilled by fuel thieves.

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