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Deadly explosion rocks Mexico Pemex headquarters, 14 dead

ICIS News : 1-Feb-13 03:28

MEDELLIN, Colombia (ICIS)--An explosion rocked the Mexico City administrative headquarters of Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) on Thursday afternoon, killing at least 14 people and injuring dozens more, the state-run oil company said.

Pemex said that a search and rescue mission was currently underway at the scene of the blast. The cause of the accident is under investigation, the company said.

“An explosion occurred in the B2 building of the administrative centre,” Pemex said in a message on Twitter.

“Regrettably, 14 people have been confirmed dead and 80 injured,” the company said.

Mexican daily El Universal said the explosion occurred around 15:55 hours local time (21:55 hours GMT), and was triggered by machinery that apparently exploded.

El Universal, who put the number of injured at over 100, said there were at least 30 people still trapped in rubble.

Pemex said experts were currently analysing the possible causes of the blast at the 54-story building, and at this stage warned against “speculation”.

The energy giant has experienced a number of deadly accidents in recent years.

In September last year, an explosion and fire at a Pemex natural gas facility in northern Mexico killed 26 people.

However it is rare that such lethal accidents occur at the company’s administrative premises.

Pemex’s director general Emilio Lozoya Austin said on Twitter that he was cutting short a business trip in Asia and was on his way back to Mexico.

“We will thoroughly investigate the causes (of the accident) in full cooperation with the authorities,” Austin said. “At this time the priority is to attend to all the injured.”

By Simon West

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