A police roadblock outside Reynosa
A police roadblock outside Reynosa, Mexico, where rival drug cartels battle for supremacy Getty

A gas explosion in Reynosa, Mexico, exposed a gang safe house where 60 migrants were being held hostage.

Five Guatemalan migrants were injured in the explosion, two of whom are in a serious condition, UPI reported. They told officials they had been abducted more than a week ago. At least 60 migrants fled the house after the blast. Police said they are currently searching for them.

Migrants from Central America are frequently abducted by Mexican criminal cartels, and forced into labour or ransomed. Many are murdered if their families are unable to meet the ransom demand.

In 2011, the bodies of 200 migrants were found in border state Tamaulipas, where Reynosa is located. Authorities said they had been killed by the Zetas cartel after being abducted while travelling on a bus.

It came after the killing of 72 migrants in the state the previous year, with authorities claiming they were murdered by the Zetas after refusing to work for the gang.