Latin America & Caribbean

Deadly explosion at gas storage tank in central Mexico

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Media captionFootage of the fire at the gas storage plant near Puebla

At least six people have been killed and two injured in a gas explosion in the central Mexican state of Puebla, officials say.

It is not yet clear what caused the blast at the natural gas storage plant at the Chachapa industrial park.

The explosion set off a fire which engulfed much of the area.

The main highway linking Mexico City and Veracruz was closed for more than four hours as firefighters brought the blaze under control.

Businesses and homes were evacuated in a radius of 3km (two miles).

The blast occurred at 18:30 local time (23:30 GMT) at the plant owned by Tomza Gas. Local officials said most of the workers had already finished their shift, keeping the number of casualties relatively low.

Four of the bodies were found soon after the blast. Two other burnt bodies were found later in the plant's rubble.

The victims have not been identified.

Governor Rafael Moreno Valle has visited the site.

Some 100 people who spent the night in hostels and improvised shelter have now been allowed to return home.

Tomza sells and install gas tanks and cylinders for household, commercial and industrial use.

There have been a series of gas-related accidents in Mexico. More than 20 people were killed when a lorry carrying gas tanks exploded on a highway on the outskirts of Mexico City in May.

And in September 2012, 26 people died in a fire at a gas plant owned by the state oil company Pemex in the city of Reynosa.

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