[QODLink]
Americas

Mexico probes Pemex headquarters blast

Government pledges to determine whether accident or attack caused explosion that killed 33 people in Mexico City.
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2013 05:19

Mexico's government has vowed to find out whether an explosion that killed 33 people at the headquarters of its state-run oil company Pemex was a deliberate attack or an accident.

Government officials have refused to speculate over what caused the explosion that ripped through the annex of the firm's Mexico City skyscraper on Thursday.

"The government is determined to find the truth in this incident, whatever it is; whether it was an accident, whether it was carelessness, whether it was an attack," Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam told reporters on Friday.

"We don't want to leave anything to the imagination," he said as rescuers wound down the search.

President Enrique Pena Nieto has declared three days of national mourning.

Parts of the reinforced concrete ground floor of the building caved in, and the ceiling was a mess of twisted metal pipes and ducts.

Speculation

Speculation over the cause has ranged from a bomb attack, to a gas leak, to a boiler blowing up.

"A fatal incident like yesterday's cannot be explained in two hours. We are working with the best teams in Mexico and from overseas. We will not speculate," Pemex's chief executive, Emilio Lozoya, said.

Investigators from the army, navy, federal police, prosecutor's office and two foreign firms were involved in the probe.

Hundreds of firefighters, police and soldiers aided by dogs dug through rubble for almost 24 hours straight, with the help of floodlights and cranes after the blast caused the mezzanine of the annex to collapse.

Thousands of people work in the Pemex complex, but officials said the area hit by the blast has four levels and housed 200 to 250 employees.

Mexican Red Cross coordinator Isaac Oxenhaut indicated that the mission to rescue survivors or search for bodies was over.

"We rule out there being any trapped victims," he said.

302

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.