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Mexico :Pemex Oil Company HQ Blast kills 25 , over 100 injured

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Mexico :Pemex Oil Company HQ Blast kills 25 , over 100 injured

Post  Panda on Fri 1 Feb - 8:52

Mexico: Pemex Oil Company HQ Blast Kills 25

Rescue workers are trying to free trapped workers after an explosion ripped through several floors of a skyscraper in Mexico City.

7:01am UK, Friday 01 February 2013

Video: Rescuers are still searching through the rubble

  • A woman cries out as she is taken from the scene of the blast by rescuers.

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  • A thick plume of smoke surrounded the 52-storey Pemex building after an explosion rocked the basement.

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  • Rescue workers survey the decimated interior of the iconic skyscraper.

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  • There were chaotic scenes as rescuers rushed around trying to coordinate the search for survivors.

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  • Rescue workers were driven towards the scene of the blast.

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  • Workers, many injured, evacuated the building, while pedestrians and salesmen cleared the area.

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  • The streets around the skyscraper quickly filled with hundreds of emergency services workers.

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  • Armed officers were involved in the operation after the explosion.

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  • The army was called in to support first responders.

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  • Helicopters arrived at the scene to help get casualties to hospital as quickly as possible.

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  • Some rescuers with dogs were drafted in, possibly to help with the search for survivors or bodies.

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  • Another ambulance is driven closer to the scene of the blast.

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  • An officer heads for the damaged building.

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  • Workers help one of the victims as she lies on a stretcher.

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Gallery: Many Killed In Huge Mexico Blast

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Twenty-five people are dead and at least 100 injured after an explosion at the headquarters of Mexican oil company Pemex.

Injured workers were seen being evacuated after the blast at the state-owned firm blew out windows and damaged three floors of the 52-storey skyscraper in Mexico City's commercial centre.

There are reports that as many as 30 people could be trapped in the debris from the explosion, which occurred in the basement of an administrative building next to the tower, where thousands of people work.

Ana Vargas Palacio was distraught as she searched for her missing husband, Daniel Garcia Garcia, 36, who works in the building. She last heard from him at 1pm.

"I called his phone many times, but a young man answered and told me he found the phone in the debris," she said.

The two have an 11-year-old daughter. His mother, Gloria Garcia Castaneda, collapsed on a friend's arm, crying, "My son. My son."

Television images showed people being carried out of the building on office chairs. Most of them showed injuries likely to have been caused by falling debris.

Pemex - full name Petroleos Mexicanos - said in a tweet that several workers were injured in the blast but no one answered at its offices.
The blast happened in a busy central district of Mexico City
There was no immediate cause given for the blast, but in an earlier tweet, the company said it had evacuated the building because of problems with the electricity.

"It was an explosion, a shock, the lights went out and suddenly there was a lot of debris," employee Cristian Obele told Milenio television, adding that he had been injured in the leg.

The main floor and the mezzanine of the auxiliary building, where the explosion occurred, were heavily damaged, along with windows as far as three floors up.

Interior ministry spokesman Eduardo Sanchez told Milenio: "Right now they're conducting a tour of the building and the area adjacent to the blast site to verify if there are any still trapped so they can be rescued immediately."

Maria Concepcion Andrade, 42, who lives on the block of Pemex building, said: "We were talking and all of sudden we heard an explosion with white smoke and glass falling from the windows.

"People started running from the building covered in dust. A lot of pieces were flying."

Police landed four rescue helicopters to remove the dead or injured. About a dozen tow trucks were furiously moving cars to make more landing room for the helicopters.

Streets surrounding the building were closed as evacuees wandered around.

President Enrique Pena Nieto said on Twitter: "I profoundly lament the deaths of our fellow workers at Pemex. My condolences to their families."

Shortly before the explosion, Pemex operations director Carlos Murrieta said on Twitter that the company had reduced its accident rate in recent years. Most Pemex accidents have occurred at pipeline and refinery installations.

A fire at a pipeline metering centre in northeast Mexico near the Texas border killed 30 workers in September, the largest-single toll in at least a decade for the company.

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