14 killed in explosion at Mexico's state-owned oil company
By McClatchy Newspapers
Published: Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013, 10:16 p.m.
MEXICO CITY — An explosion ripped through the high-rise headquarters of Mexico's state oil company on Thursday, killing at least 14 people, according to a government minister, and injuring more than 100.
The explosion shook the iconic 54-story headquarters of Petroleos Mexicanos, the second tallest building in the capital, at 3:55 p.m. local time, the end of the Mexican lunch break when hundreds of people would have been moving about the complex. As darkness fell, search teams were pulling people from the complex. Presidential spokesman David Lopez said employees remained trapped inside.
Pemex representatives said on the company's Twitter account that the explosion hit a smaller building adjacent to the main tower, causing damage to the first and second floors and leading to the evacuation of the complex. The cause was not immediately known.
“It was a big explosion. Then we were amid rubble,” Pemex employee Cristian Obele said. “I've never lived through something like this.”
Interior Secretary Miguel Osorio Chong told Foro TV that 13 people had died at the site, 1 perished in a hospital and “more than 80 persons are injured up to this point.”
“The priority at this time is to attend to the injured and ensure the physical safety of those who work there,” President Enrique Pena Nieto said on his Twitter account.
Thirty people remained missing, Foro TV said. Rescue teams using sniffer dogs took part in a search effort. Shattered glass littered streets surrounding the complex, which is located in the Anzures district near central Mexico City. Sirens from ambulances wailed throughout the streets surrounding the complex and helicopters hovered overhead.
High-ranking government officials flooded the scene, a sign of the importance to Mexico of Pemex, which provided 34 percent of total government revenues in 2011, according to estimates by the U.S. Energy Department's Energy Information Administration.
Osorio Chong joined Energy Secretary Pedro Joaquin Coldwell, Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam and Mexico City Mayor Miguel Mancera at the site. Pena Nieto offered his condolences via Twitter, saying “I deeply lament the deaths of our fellow Pemex workers,” adding in a later tweet that he was headed to the site.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- ‘Dangerous’ radioactive material found in Mexico
- Robert Gumbita retains Mt. Pleasant School Board president seat
- Empty, $36M facility justified, general finds
- U.S. can’t get China to yield on contentious air zone
- Hezbollah commander shot down
- Police: Toronto mayor tried to buy crack tape
- Egyptian satirist says show’s suspension wasn’t ‘nice’
- Egypt orders blogger’s arrest
- Thai protesters seek to topple PM
- Karzai says U.S. killed toddler
- Detained vet worked with group of guerillas