(MEXICO CITY) -- The death toll was rising late Sunday after a pipeline explosion in central Mexico. The number of dead was reported to be over two dozen, with dozens more hurt and at least 100 houses damaged in the early morning disaster.
Officials believe thieves trying to steal oil tampered with the pipeline, lost control of the flow because of the high pressure in the line and oil was released into nearby streets in the city of San Martin Texmelucan. A spark set it aflame and the fire spread with a series of explosions. The blaze was under control by the middle of the day and the pipeline had been shut down.
The pipeline is owned by the Mexican government oil company, Pemex, which has struggled with oil thefts in the past, losing a reported 10 percent of its product through pipeline such theft.
Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio