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Mexico oil pipeline blast kills 27 people

A pipeline operated by Mexico's state-owned oil company has exploded in the central state of Puebla, killing at least 27 people, authorities said last night.

Authorities said 12 of the dead were children and estimated that the explosion and resulting spill affected a three-mile radius, injuring at least 52 people and scorching more than 115 homes.

“We saw rivers of fire in the streets,” said the state’s interior secretary Valentin Meneses.

State spokesman Noe Torres said the explosion happened at a Petroleos Mexicanos duct, where thieves were attempting to steal either gas or oil. He said it isn't known whether the explosion was caused by the attempted theft. No one has been detained.

Mr Torres said the initial explosion in the city of San Martin Texmelucan was followed by four minor blasts. Hundreds of people fled the city, located 55 miles east of Mexico City.

Civil protection authorities, firefighters and military troops are investigating and trying to ensure there are no more explosions.

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