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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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