MEXICO CITY — Nineteen people were killed and 36 injured Tuesday morning when a gas tanker truck crashed and exploded, damaging dozens of homes in the densely populated Mexico City suburb of Ecatepec, according to authorities and news reports.
The accident occurred about 5:30 a.m. on a highway connecting the Mexican capital with Pachuca. [For the record, 12:42 p.m., May 7: An earlier version of this post incorrectly gave the name of this city as Pachuco.] Photos showed cars and trucks on fire. The mayor of Ecatepec, Pablo Bedolla, said on his Twitter account that 27 homes had been affected.
“It was an accident. We’re already responding to the situation,” Bedolla tweeted.
The driver of the truck was injured and taken to a hospital and was being detained by police on suspicion of speeding, according to news reports.
The freeway was closed in both directions Tuesday morning as hundreds of police, firefighters and members of the military searched for bodies, evacuated residents and worked to extinguish the flames.