Thousands evacuated after Pemex gasoline leak in western Mexico


MEXICO CITY, Oct 30 (Reuters) - Thousands of people wereevacuated in western Mexico on Wednesday morning after thievestapping a pipeline run by state oil monopoly Pemex caused amajor gasoline leak.

Authorities in the state of Jalisco said there were noreports of casualties after the local government ordered some7,500 people to be evacuated from the affected area.

Television footage showed a large column of gasolineshooting skywards near the town of Tlajomulco south of the statecapital Guadalajara, Mexico's second biggest city.

Arturo Zamora, Jalisco's state interior minister, toldreporters the leak was under control and that locals in theoutermost reaches affected by the incident could be allowed backto their homes from early Wednesday afternoon.

Pemex, whose pipelines are frequently the target of attacksby thieves, said it shut down the flow of gasoline as soon asthe leak was detected.

The Energy Ministry said this month that Pemex has reportedfuel thefts worth some $4.7 billion over the past five years.

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