14 dead in Mexico skyscraper blast


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PEMEX BLAST. Explosion rocks the Mexico City skyscraper that houses oil giant Pemex. Photo from AFP

The death toll in the explosion at the headquarters of Mexico’s oil giant Pemex rose to 25 on February 1 (Manila time). One person has been pulled from the rubble, but it was hard to know whether anybody else was trapped, some 7 hours after the blast. Mexico’s interior minister said the cause of the blast was under investigation and remained unknown. Smoke billowed skyward as people fled the 54-floor skyscraper with some of those hurt in the blast being carried out on stretchers and office chairs, as witnesses recalled how a huge rumble shook the floor like an earthquake. Pemex is the world’s fourth-largest crude producer with around 2.5 million barrels per day. The company has experienced deadly accidents at its oil and gas facilities in the past. Last year, a huge explosion killed 30 people at a gas plant near the northern city of Reynosa, close to the US border.

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