Death toll from Mexico pipeline blast rises to 71

The death toll from a devastating oil pipeline blast in Mexico has risen to 71, officials said.

Besides, 76 others also sustained injuries in the explosion in the town of Tlahuelilpan in Hidalgo state, Governor Omar Fayad told the media on Saturday, Xinhua news agency reported.

It is believed the blast occurred after the pipeline was ruptured by suspected oil thieves on Friday night, the BBC reported.

The pipeline went ablaze when dozens of people were scrambling around a leak spot to collect fuel in the presence of the armed forces.

TV footage showed large flames and people at the scene with severe burns as well as what appeared to be smouldering corpses scattered on the ground near the blaze.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador pledged to step up efforts to stamp out fuel theft after the tragedy.

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