May 19, 2013
At least 14 dead and 80 injured in Mexico blast
At least 14 people have died and 80 people were injured at a blast at the Mexico City headquarters of state oil giant Pemex, Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong said. The death toll could still rise, he told local television.
The blast, which media reports said was caused by machinery exploding, hit the lower floors of the building.
Earlier, a local emergency official said one person died and 22 others were injured. Another four people were trapped inside the skyscraper, the official said.
"The place shook, we lost power and suddenly there was debris everywhere. Colleagues were helping us out of the building," witness Cristian Obele told Milenio news network.
Police quickly cordoned off the building and television images showed the explosion blew out windows on the lower floors and damaged the ground floor.
Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong rushed to the scene and said he would provide details on the incident soon.
Lines of fire trucks sped to the entrance of the building near the city center and emergency workers ferried injured people through debris strewn on the street.
Pemex initially said the building had been evacuated because of a problem with its electricity supply. It then said there had been an explosion, but did not say what had caused it. Helicopters circled the building.
Plaster fell from the ceiling of the basement, and the situation at the Pemex tower was dangerous, a spokesman for local emergency services said.
Pemex has suffered a number of lethal accidents in recent years. In September, 30 people died after an explosion at a Pemex natural gas facility in northern Mexico.