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Gas Tanker Explosion in Mexico Leaves at Least 19 Dead

The explosion of a gas tanker has left at least 19 people dead and 36 injured, according to the latest reports. The blast occurred in Ecatepec de Morelos County (State of Mexico) early in the morning of May 7, 2013.

Ecatepec is part of Greater Mexico City.

Mexican newspaper El Universal [es], on its online version, was one of the first outlets to break the news:

Una pipa que al parecer transportaba gas explotó la madrugada de hoy en el perímetro de la comunidad de San Pedro Xalostoc, lo que provocó un número indeterminado de heridos y muertos así como el incendio de varios vehículos a la redonda, informó Protección Civil Municipal de Ecatepec.

El secretario de Seguridad Ciudadana del Estado de México, Salvador Neme Sastré, informó que hasta el momento el saldo (es) de 13 personas fallecidas y 13 lesionadas, así como 15 vehículos afectados y 20 domicilios que presentan diversos daños.

A truck that was carrying what seems to be gas exploded this morning in the outskirts of the San Pedro Xalostoc community, causing an undetermined number of injuries and deaths and setting several vehicles on fire, reported Ecatepec County's Civil Protection.

The state's Secretary of Citizen Security, Salvador Neme Sastré, informed that up until now the death toll is 13 people plus 13 injured, as well as 15 damaged vehicles and 20 houses.

Milenio [es] on its online version reported the cause of the accident:

Foto compartida por @NoticiasMVS en Twitter

Picture shared by @NoticiasMVS on Twitter

El incidente ocurrió debido a que uno de los tanques de gas de la pipa, que era de doble remolque, se desprendió del vehículo, lo que generó el estallido y después el incendio.

Bomberos de Ecatepec reportaron afectaciones en inmuebles aledaños por el fuego y la onda expansiva, además que de que se registraron al menos otras dos explosiones de tanques estacionarios de las casas que se incendiaron.

The accident occurred because one of the gas tanks was twice the size of the trailer; it detached itself and exploded, and consequently caused the fire.

Firemen from Ecatepec reported buildings around the area were damaged by the fire and the blast wave. Also, there were two explosions from gas tanks in nearby houses.

The blog Sopitas [es] also informed that the person responsible for the accident was taken into custody by the authorities:

Ya han detenido al chofer de la pipa, está hospitalizado en el Hospital Magdalena de las Salinas, su nombre es Omar Díaz Olivares. La empresa de la pipa es Termo Gas. Ya se contabilizan 18 muertos, 40 heridos 23 domicilios afectados y 15 vehículos calcinados.

The truck driver was arrested and he's at Hospital Magdalena de las Salinas. His name is Omar Días Olivares. The company that owns the pipe is Termo Gas. There are already 18 people dead, 40 wounded, 23 houses and 15 vehicles damaged.

On his Twitter account, the Secretary of Citizen Security, Salvador Neme (@NemeSSC) [es], has been updating the numbers of this accident:

@NemeSSC: La cifra que se actualiza es de 18 personas fallecidas y 36 lesionados por la emergencia que se presentó en Ecatepec.

@NemeSSC: The current figure for the incident in Ecatepec is 18 people dead, 36 wounded.

Jenaro Villamil (@jenarovillamil) [es], blogger and journalist, took the opportunity to remind everyone that the state governor, Eruviel Ávila, is on a trip to the Vatican:

@jenarovillamil: Fallecen 18 personas, 36 están heridas, 13 graves, ante la explosión en la carretera México-Pachuca, en Ecatepec. Y Eruviel en El Vaticano.

@jenarovillamil: 18 people die, 36 were wounded, 13 in critical condition after the explosion on México-Pachuca's highway, in Ecatepec. And Eruviel in the Vatican.

User AdryBird (@adyvalencya) [es] recognized first respondents who aided those who couldn't ask for help:

@adyvalencia: Mi reconocimiento a los paramédicos que rescataron, ayudaron y auxiliaron a los perros quemados en la explosión de Ecatepec

@adyvalencia: Let me recognize the paramedics who rescued, helped and cured the dogs burnt at the Ecatepec's explosion

Federico Muñoz J. (@fmunozj) [es] said the following:

@fmunozj: Terrible lo que pasó en Ecatepec. Las imágenes lo dicen todo.

@fmunozj: What happened in Ecatepec is terrible. The images say it all.

As it is already common among Mexicans, there were some who showcased their classism and denigrated those affected by this tragedy, like Ana (@AnaFloresJ) [es] who made reference to the occupation (according to her) of those who died:

@AnaFloresJ: 13 muertos en Ecatepec:

-3 albañiles.

-4 chóferes de combi. [operadores de unidades de transporte público]

-2 boleros. [personas que asean el calzado]

-1 viene-viene [acomodadores de automóviles en vía pública]

-3 asaltantes

@AnaFloresJ: 13 people died in Ecatepec:

- 3 masons.

- 4 public transportation drivers.

- 2 shoe cleaners

- 1 parking lot aid

- 3 thieves

Ecatepec is located in a densely populated area and doesn't have enough basic services; San Pedro Xalostoc (where the accident occurred) is one of the 8 towns that form the county and according to Wikipedia, it hosts many people who lost their home in the 1985 earthquake.

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