Relatives of Victims of a Pemex' Pipeline Explosion Hold a Vigil
Relatives and friends of a deceased give the last goodbye in the pantheon after the funeral services of the victims of an explosion in a pipeline belonging to Mexican Public Oil Company Pemex on January 20, 2019, in Tlahuelilpan, Mexico.Hector Vivas/Getty Images

The death toll from Friday's tragic pipeline explosion in central Mexico's Hidalgo state has risen to 85.

The ghastly incident occurred after a state-owned Pemex pipeline was ruptured by suspected thieves in Tlahuelilpan and as scores of people gathered to collect fuel.

The number rose from 79 earlier on Sunday after six more deaths were recorded, said Minister of Public Health Jorge Alcocer.

The number of those hospitalised dropped from 66 to 58, Alcocer added.

According to the state and federal governments, they were covering medical and funeral costs. A minor with burns has been transferred to Shriners Hospital for Children in Galveston, Texas, they said.

Hidalgo Governor Omar Fayad highlighted the great "dimension" of the tragedy and extended help to victims' kins, assuring that they will receive financial aid for funerals and that the investigation would continue.

Fayad said that it could take "hours, days, weeks or months for the identification" of remains.

Residents in the immediate vicinity of the pipeline, which runs from the cities of Tuxpan to Tula, have been evacuated, state oil company Pemex said.

Since being sworn in as President in December, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has cracked down on fuel theft from illegal taps of Pemex pipelines, which generate millions in losses for the company.

This has led to the temporary closure of key pipelines.

President Obrador had visited the accident site on Saturday.

(with IANS inputs)