Mexico gas tanker explosion: Death toll rises to 24 as government pledges compensation


Local residents gather outside their homes severely damaged or destroyed in the gas tanker explosion on the outskirts of Mexico City on May 7, 2013. The Mexico State government has promised to help those affected rebuild their lives.

GUADALAJARA, Mexico – The death toll from Tuesday’s gas tanker explosion on a busy stretch of highway on the outskirts of Mexico City has risen to 24, after another victim died from their injuries sustained in the blast.

As local residents in the working-class suburb of Ecatepec began the grim task of burying their loved ones – including 11 members of one family – and rebuilding their lives, the Mexican state government pledged to pay compensation to those affected by the explosion.

Governor Eruviel Avila said the government would help residents rebuild their homes and replace possessions destroyed in the massive blast, which was triggered when a truck hauling liquid petroleum gas slammed into a retention wall in the pre-dawn hours of Tuesday.

Avila added the government would ensure those companies responsible for the accident were held accountable. The state attorney general is investigating the incident and assessing damages.

Police have said the truck’s driver was traveling at a high speed when he apparently lost control of the vehicle. The truck hit the retention wall, causing the second of its two trailers to flip and slide into houses closely abutting the eight-lane highway. 

Residents described seeing a “ball of fire” that quickly incinerated dozens of houses and cars.

More from GlobalPost: Mexico: Death toll from gas tanker explosion rises to 22

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