Patterico's Pontifications

9/10/2007

Today’s Mexican Truck News

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 7:24 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

A truck carrying ammonium nitrate to a Mexican mine blew up, killing “at least 34 people and injuring some 150″ near Piedras Negras, Mexico, just hours from Del Rio, Texas.

“Authorities said two trucks smashed into each other Sunday night on a busy highway in northern Mexico, drawing a crowd of curious onlookers as well as a small army of police, soldiers, emergency officials and journalists. Shortly after the crowd arrived, the wreckage caught fire, and the ammonium nitrate exploded, sending a ball of fire into the sky that consumed nearby cars and left a 10-by 40-foot crater in the road.

Officials said they did not know what caused the initial crash. “Everyone who was a witness to the accident is dead,” said a federal police official, Alejandro Gonzalez.

The local police director, Rodolfo Riquejo, said the majority of those killed and injured were families returning home after spending Sunday at some nearby swimming pools. The force of the blast blew out the windows of a passenger bus about a quarter-mile away.

***

The dead included three newspaper reporters from the nearby city of Monclova who were covering the highway wreck, said Luis Horacio de Hoyos of the Coahuila state Attorney General’s Office.

It was unclear whether the driver of the truck carrying ammonium nitrate was killed. Authorities were investigating reports that he might have fled the scene.

The truck had picked up 25 tons of ammonium nitrate from an Orica Ltd. explosives plant in Monclova and was heading to a mine in the southwestern state of Colima, said a federal police official, Elias Prieto. He did not say which mine.”

For now, Mexican trucks carrying hazardous materials are not allowed into the U.S. However, even before this incident, two U.S. Senators had moved to ban Mexican trucks for safety reasons:

“Sens. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., and Arlen Specter, R-Pa., want to strip funding for a pilot program launched last week giving Mexican carriers full access to America’s roadways. Their proposal, scheduled for a Senate vote Tuesday morning, came the same day the first Mexican truck participating in the long-delayed free trade program delivered its cargo to North Carolina.

Republicans said they would oppose any plan to keep Mexican carriers out of the U.S. They said Mexico has more stringent trucking standards than Canada, whose carriers already have full access to U.S. highways. “Can’t we use some common sense here? This is not some enemy satellite on our border,” said Mississippi Republican Sen. Trent Lott, adding that some critics want to make Mexico the “bogeyman.”

Even if Senator Lott is right on this issue, he certainly has bad luck (or timing) when it comes to choosing sides on an issue.

In somewhat related news, Mexico was rocked by explosions at oil and gas pipelines that were likely due to sabotage:

Explosions rocked Mexico on Monday as attacks on six pipelines disrupted oil and gas supplies and forced thousands from their homes, just weeks after leftist rebels set off a string of pipeline bombs. Huge billowing flames lit the night sky after the blasts in the early hours of the morning. More than 20,000 people were rushed from their homes to emergency shelters as gas and oil spewed from the ruptured pipes.

***

Some pipelines were hit in several places. It was not clear if bombs had been used. Mexico has recently suffered a spate of mostly small scale attacks attributed to rebel groups.

Last month, Mexico City’s Torre Mayor skyscraper was evacuated after police found a small device, believed to be an explosive, in a car in the building’s underground parking. In July, the Popular Revolutionary Army, a guerrilla group known by its Spanish initials EPR, staged four bomb attacks on Pemex pipelines.

Last year, al Qaeda threatened to attack installations in Mexico and other countries that supply oil to the United States. U.S. and Mexican authorities played down the threat.”

Terrorists have shown they want to use our transportation system to attack us. As long as we have a reciprocal trucking agreement, we need to make sure all Mexican trucks that cross our southern border are thoroughly inspected.

— DRJ

2 Responses to “Today’s Mexican Truck News”

  1. And today a major marijuana farm in Lytle Creek was busted. The people “camped out” there shot at the police and one was killed, two taken into custody.

    Is this one of the Mexican cartel’s farms the National Park service talked about? Since no names of suspects in custody were given I assume they were illegals. I guess those in law enforcement could find out for sure but I can’t. Interesting…

    Patricia (4117a9)

  2. hey where i live here in SISKIYOU COUNTY we had a big big drug bust with possible connections to the mexican cartels and still these liberals want mexican trucks entering america

    krazy kagu (3e8790)


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