Updated Jan. 21 at 9:55 a.m. ET
For weeks, a crackdown on fuel theft by the Mexican government has led to widespread gas shortages and miles-long lines at gas stations.
So when a pipeline in the state of Hidalgo burst open Friday, sending a spray of fuel into the air, area residents rushed to collect it in buckets and barrels.
Two hours later, the gushing pipeline exploded, turning what had been an excited gathering into a hellish inferno.