A gas leak was detected in Cuautlancingo, Puebla along a Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) pipeline. The municipal emergency crew responded and residents left their homes, fearing a possible explosion. The municipality of Cuautlancingo has the most clandestine gas siphoning in the country.
The leak was caused by a group of people that tried to surreptitiously tap gas. However, the operation went out of control and a major flare began by the early morning hours of Monday. The flare reached 15 meters high and dozens of residents of the near-by neighborhoods fled their homes, fearing an explosion.
In the first five months of 2016, Puebla had the highest rates of illegal gas siphoning nation-wide, accounting for 23 percent. The problem has become so wide-spread that violent conflicts have broken out between criminal groups known as “chupaductos” (literally, pipe suckers).
There were no casualties or injuries and the flare was controlled.