Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is doubling down on his pledge to end fuel theft after a ruptured gas pipeline led to an explosion that killed at least 66 people and injured dozens more.
The explosion happened Friday night in a rural community about 80 miles north of Mexico city.
An illegal fuel tap reportedly left the pipeline bursting with gasoline.
Upon discovering it was open, hundreds of local residents went to the pipeline to collect the gasoline.
Mexico’s defense secretary says about 25 troops were sent to the scene but were unable to control the 600-800 residents at the site.
A couple of hours later, the fuel caught fire, leading to an explosion that sent flames into the air... and into the crowds.
Video shared on social media depicts people running from the flames, with some people becoming completely engulfed.
The fire took over four hours to put out. Mexico has been facing a fuel-theft epidemic of sorts.
The country's president said about $3.14 billion in stolen fuel was likely sold on the black market last year.
To curb the theft, President Obrador has shut off some pipelines and ordered thousands of military and police officers to guard others.