Pipeline explosion witnesses describe scene where 73 died: ‘People’s skin came off’

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Grief-stricken family members and witnesses to Friday’s pipeline explosion in central Mexico — which killed at least 73 people, burning many to just bones or ash, and injured at least 74 — were still reeling from the tragedy Saturday.

“Some people’s skin came off. … It was very ugly, horrible. People screamed and cried,” local journalist Veronica Jimenez told Reuters.

She said she arrived at the scene before the explosion, watching as some 300 people carried containers to collect fuel from an illegal tap in the pipeline Friday evening.

After the blast, “They shouted the names of their husbands, brothers, their family members,” she recalled, of people searching for loved ones.

On Saturday, health officials were taking DNA samples from relatives to help identify the dead, dozens of whom were badly burned. Hugo Olvera Estrada said he visited six nearby hospitals hoping to find his 13-year-old son, who joined the crowd at the spill and remains missing. – READ MORE

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