LA JORNADA (Mexico), CNN (USA), BBC NEWS (UK)

Worldcrunch

MEXICO CITY – An explosion followed by a fire at a gas plant in the northern Mexican state of Tamaulipas has killed at least 26 people, reports La Jornada.

Mexico’s state oil company Pemex said the fire broke out at around lunch time Tuesday outside the city of Reynosa, a few miles south of the U.S. border, reports BBC News.

Four of the dead were employees of the state oil company and 22 others were contractors, Pemex said. Forty-six people were injured, said CNN.

The road between Monterrey and Reynosa was shut down for a few hours as ambulances and firefighters rushed to the facility to try to control the situation and rescue the wounded.

Mexican troops have also been called in to help while more than 5,000 were evacuated.

According to the energy company, the fire was extinguished in 90 minutes and investigators are still working to determine the cause of the blast.

Such incidents are frequent in Mexico. Four workers were injured last week in a nearby plant owned by Pemex.

Another Pemex gas plant in Tamaulipas state was hit by a fire on August 13, but the company said no one was injured.

Plant accidents in Mexico are most often caused by illegal tapping of the state oil company's pipelines.