32 dead, scores injured as blast rocks Mexican state oil company's HQ (VIDEO)
At least 32 people were killed and 121 injured Thursday after a blast rocked the high-rise headquarters of Pemex, a state-owned Mexican oil company, in Mexico City. The Mexican government has taken over the administration of the building.
Mexican officials had no immediate information on the cause of the blast.“We have no conclusive report on the reason,” President Enrique Pena Nieto told reporters. He also promised “to get to the bottom of the investigation” and “apply the full weight of the law” on those found responsible.One person has been dragged from the rubble of the building, President Pena Nieto informed on his Twitter feed.“The Minister of the Interior informs me that another person has been rescued from the rubble,” Nieto wrote.Another victim of the explosion, which is thought to have been the result of a gas buildup in the building's basement, died while being transferred to hospital.The Red Cross was urgently seeking blood donors to help the injured Thursday."The priority at this time is to attend to the injured and to safeguard the physical integrity of those who work [at the site]," said President Enrique Peña Nieto, who directed the rescue effort from inside the building. The Mexican goverment is reported to have taken tentative control of the administration of the building in the aftermath of the incident. Nieto's office tweeted that many of those injured were taken to Pemex Central Hospital.Images and local news broadcasts from the scene showed people being carried out on stretchers, with smoke billowing from the base of the building. The building was evacuated shortly after the blast, with police, city rescue crews and Mexican Army personnel coming to the scene to help those injured and to evacuate those potentially still inside.Local media had reported that people had been trapped in the building following the explosion, but the claim was later dismissed by the country's interior ministry.Following the incident Pemex confirmed there had been an explosion and claimed they had had electricity problems. A government official speaking on condition of anonymity to Reuters, said that preliminary investigations signaled a gas boiler explosion.