According to unofficial reports, the explosion of the Pemex pipeline on the Mérida-Progreso highway occurred when five people who arrived in a van and a Chevy compact car, drilled the pipeline apparently to steal the fuel, at a time when the Storage and Distribution Terminal pumped fuels to the terminal of Merida.
The explosion occurred near the Paraíso community, located at kilometer 24 of the Mérida-Progreso highway, which also had to be evacuated.
In this regard, Pemex informed that early this Thursday July 19, its specialized personnel “controlled a fuel leak caused by an act of vandalism at kilometer 07 + 330 of the Progreso-Mérida pipeline, in Yucatan”.
The affected duct has three pipelines, to transport turbosine, gasoline and diesel; the second was the one that burst in flames.
Stealing gasoline from pipelines is now such a common practice all over Mexico, that a culture has formed around it. These fuel thieves are known as “huachicoleros” and the “huachicolero culture” is now interwoven into the everyday lives of the people in the states of Guanajuato, Puebla, Hidalgo and Querétaro, just to name a few.
The word stems from the local slang term huachicol, which refers to the adulterated gasoline used by truckers in the past. Now, Yucatán joins the list of states where the “huachicoleros” operate.
Luis Felipe Saidén Ojeda, State Secretary of Public Safety, confirmed that there is one detainee, who resulted wounded with burns in 75 percent of the body and who was transferred to a hospital in Mérida.
On the other three suspects, Saidén Ojeda said they managed to flee, even though other media outlets say that two other suspects were also detained several hours after the exploson took place.
TYT Newsroom with information from Secretaría de Seguridad Pública de Yucatán
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