MEXICO CITY (October 30, 2013) Authorities in western Mexico evacuated about 4,500 people Wednesday after streams of gasoline spewed from a state-owned pipeline that fuel thieves evidently drilled open.
Photos from the scene near the city of Guadalajara show what appears to be a plume of gasoline shooting into the air from the pipeline, in a field near a housing development.
The closest homes were about 150 yards from the leak.
The fuel had not yet ignited but Jalisco state Interior Secretary Arturo Zamora said Wednesday that residents were being evacuated as a precaution.
State-owned oil company Pemex has suffered a huge problem with illegal taps drilled into fuel pipelines.
More than 1,400 illegal taps were discovered in the first six months of 2013.