Mexico City: – An oil pipeline explosion in central Mexico early on Sunday killed 22 people, a local government official said, doubling the previous death toll of 11 people reported killed.
The pipeline maintained by oil monopoly Pemex exploded at around 5 a.m./6 a.m. EST in San Martin Texmelucan, a small community in the state of Puebla about 50 miles east of Mexico City.
The explosion destroyed many cars and homes in a residential neighborhood but was not near major oil refining or transportation facilities, according to local media reports.
"Early reports indicate 11 people were killed, 12 wounded and 32 homes damaged by fire," Pemex reported via its Twitter account, noting the incident might have been caused by an illegal tap.
Photos and video from the scene showed charred vehicles, burned-out homes and scorched ground around the moderately populated outskirts of the town. A cloud of thick, black smoke was seen over the accident site just after dawn.
Federal officials said that the explosion and fire were under control by mid-morning, according to an advisory.