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After Mexican hospital explosion, babies suffering life-threatening burns could be airlifted to Texas

Emergency workers search for victims at Mexico City hospital explosion site on Thursday.
Credit: Ioan Grillo

MEXICO CITY — Nine babies are in serious condition after a gas truck explosion devastated a maternity hospital and killed three people, Mexico City’s health secretary said Friday.

The babies are between 1 and 7 days old and in intensive care in Mexico City hospitals, Health Secretary Armando Ahued said on Mexican radio. The babies suffered burns and injuries from falling debris, he said.

Mexico City authorities — who run the maternity hospital — said they’re looking at the possibility of transferring some of the injured infants to a specialist unit in Galveston, Texas.

The fatalities included a nurse and two babies, whom a policeman had pulled out of the building while the gas still burned.

A leaky hose on the truck, which was fueling the hospital’s tanks, could have triggered the blast, officials said Thursday.

The three men who operated the truck were not themselves badly injured, and have been detained and could be charged with manslaughter.

Flames ran through oxygen tubes in the hospital, spreading damage and causing the building to collapse, workers there said.

Mexico City suffers from a history of gas explosions. In 2013, a gas tanker truck exploded, killing more than 20 people.

GlobalPost Senior Correspondent Ioan Grillo visited the scene Thursday and shot the following photos:

Rescue workers search through rubble after an explosion rocked a Mexico City hospital on Thursday.
 

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