Business, Economics and Jobs

Pemex explosion kills 25 in Mexico



A helicopter overflies the area following a blast inside the skyscraper that houses the headquarters of state-owned Mexican oil giant Pemex, in Mexico City on January 31, 2013.



An explosion at the headquarters of Mexico's state-owned oil company Pemex on Thursday killed at least 25 people and injured 101, Mexico's interior minister said, according to CNN.

Miguel Angel Osorio Chong told reporters that it wasn't clear late Thursday whether people were still trapped inside the building. CNN affiliate Foro TV had reported earlier that dozens were stuck inside after the blast.

The 54-story building that houses the offices is one of Mexico's tallest.

Reuters reported that President Enrique Pena Nieto arrived at the site soon after the blast.

"We will work exhaustively to investigate exactly what took place, and if there are people responsible, to apply the force of the law on them," Pena Nieto said, according to Reuters.

The Associated Press said that the cause of the blast is still unclear. Pena Nieto urged people not to speculate about what my have caused it, though some theories include an electrical fire, faulty air conditioning and a possible attack.  

Britain's Daily Mail wrote that rescuers were using dogs, trucks with mounted lights and an oil company crane to search for survivors late Thursday.

Interior Department spokesman Eduardo Sanchez said that the explosion occurred in the basement garage of the building, located in Mexico City, the Associated Press reported.

"There are injuries and damage on the ground floor and mezzanine,” Pemex said on a message on Twitter, BBC News reported.

The explosion blew out windows on the front of the building and many of the injured appeared to have been hit by falling debris, the AP reported.

According to the AP:

Television images showed people being evacuated on office chairs, and gurneys.

"The place shook, we lost power and suddenly there was debris everywhere. Colleagues were helping us out of the building," witness Cristian Obele told Milenio news network, according to Reuters.

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