Nuevo Progreso explosion not related to drug cartel violence

It is considered one of the safest border towns to visit, but around noon Friday those visiting Nuevo Progreso were caught off guard by a loud explosion.

"We asked the pharmacists what was something going on," Janette Martinez said.

Martinez said she and her children travel frequently into Nuevo Progreso for medical care.

"It's safer than Matamoros and other border cities over there," Martinez said.

She said she feared the worst, but after she found out that it was not a result of violence those fears were erased.

We kept asking if we were in danger"but they told us no, Martinez said.

The apparent cause of this massive explosion was someone allegedly trying to tap into a gas pipeline to siphon off gas.

"There is no indication of any criminal activity involved in this fire this morning, Director of Homeland Security in Weslaco George Garrett said. We can't say what the cause was--but we are thankful there were no casualties."

If someone was siphoning gas"it would not be the first time that it resulted in an explosion.

Just a few months ago 28 people were killed near Mexico City after a gas pipeline exploded---allegedly because some tried to steal gas.

It's also not the first gas theft for Nuevo Progreso and the surrounding area.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers arrested Zetas drug cartel member Jose Eduardo Aleman-Chavez at the Donna-Rio Bravo International Bridge back in January.

Mexican authorities had accused of him of participating in a ring that would steal oil and gas from pipelines in the Reynosa and Rio Bravo area and sell it to clients in the United States.

Those who travel to and from Nuevo Progreso consider themselves lucky that the explosion was minor.