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Fatal explosion and fire devastates Pemex HQ in Mexico City

01 February 2013

At least 25 were killed and more than 100 injured after an explosion in a building adjacent to the skyscraper headquarters of Pemex, Mexico's state oil company. Local media said at least 30 people were being treated for injuries and that up to 45 may be trapped inside the building.

Mexican authorities could not say what caused the blast but the company had reported having electrical problems in the building earlier in the day.

Footage shot from a helicopter circling above the scene showed the injured being taken out on stretcher and in some cases wheeled away in office chairs.

"What took place was an explosion in the B2 building of the administrative centre. There are injuries and damage on the ground floor and mezzanine," Pemex said in a statement.

Earlier in the afternoon the company said that its headquarters was suffering "a fault in the power supply" and was being evacuated as a precaution. One ambulance official told Reuters that a gas leak in the building appeared to be the source of the explosion.

"The place shook, we lost power and suddenly there was debris everywhere. Colleagues were helping us out of the building," one witness told Mexican television.

The explosion, which occurred around 3.45pm on January 31, caused chaos in the streets of Mexico City after roads were closed around the site of the incident.

Pemex said the cause of the blast was under investigation and that its operations would continue to run normally.

Pemex is the world's fourth-largest crude oil producer, producing around 2.5 million barrels per day

Last September, 26 people were killed at an explosion at a Pemex natural gas facility near the US border, one of the deadliest accidents in the oil industry in recent years. More than 300 were killed when a Pemex natural gas plant on the outskirts of Mexico City exploded in 1984.


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