About 400 people in two communities in Otumba, México state, fled their homes last night after a nearby fuel spill.
The spill is believed to have been caused by fuel thieves who lost control of the flow of fuel after tapping into the pipeline and decided to abandon the scene.
Neighbors noted a strong smell of gasoline about 10:00pm and decided to leave their homes, fearing an explosion.
Otumba Mayor Mauricio Cid Franco reported the spill to officials at Pemex, requesting that the affected pipeline be shut down.
Police and military personnel arrived soon after to cordon off the area around the illegal tap.
Residents began returning to their homes after midnight.
Local officials said there were no reports of injuries or attempts to scoop up free gasoline.
A large number of illegal pipeline taps have been detected in this region of México state, where pipelines are buried under farmland.
Source: El Financiero (sp)