Death Toll Reaches 79 in Blast at Illegal Pipeline Tap in Mexico; 81 Remain Hospitalized

The Latest on the deadly fire at a Mexican fuel pipeline (all times local):

8:20 a.m.

Mexican Health Minister Jorge Alcocer says the death toll from an explosion at an illegal pipeline tap has risen to 79, and he says 81 people remain hospitalized.

Alcocer said in an early Sunday news conference that some patients are in serious condition, with burns on more than 80 percent of their bodies and organs compromised following the accident.

More than 600 people were in a field Friday afternoon in the state of Hidalgo when a gusher of gasoline from a damaged pipeline turned into a fireball. Forensic scientists are taking DNA samples from relatives of the missing in an attempt to identify remains, some of which are mere ash and bones.

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