A fire sparked by suspected fuel thieves killed four people and forced Mexico’s state oil company Pemex to temporarily halt pumping operations along a pipeline in the country’s violent eastern state of Veracruz, the company said on Saturday.
Pemex said the fire was brought swiftly under control and none of the four victims found alongside a car near the pipeline were believed to be Pemex workers.
The pipeline has a capacity of 73,000 barrels per day and transports gasoline and diesel from Pemex’s Minatitlan oil refinery to Mexico City.
The incident occurred near the town of El Mango, in a region particularly rife with drug-trafficking. It came about a week after four soldiers and six suspected oil thieves died in a clash in the Mexican state of Puebla, just south of Veracruz.