Thirteen people were killed and 100 others were injured in a fuel pipeline explosion in Colombia Friday.

The explosion occurred in the central province of Risaralda, located about 170 kilometres southwest of the capital of Bogota.

At least seventeen of the injured are said to be in critical condition. According to Risaralda's health secretary Javier Marulanda, most of the injured have incurred second and third degree burns.

Visiting the site of the explosion, President Juan Manuel Santos promised assistance to the victims and their families. He said an investigation had been launched into the incident, adding that compensations would be paid to the injured, relatives of the dead and owners of properties damaged in the explosion.

Firefighters, who brought the blaze that had followed the explosion under control, were still removing debris at the site and said they might find more bodies.

The pipeline, which carries gasoline and diesel, is operated by the national oil company Ecopetrol. Though the exact reason for the explosion is not clear, yet officials suspect that it was caused after locals had attempted to pierce the pipeline to steal petrol.