The death toll in Thursday’s explosion at the Pemex office complex in Mexico City, Mexico rose to 32 overnight, according to the state-owned oil company’s CEO Emilio Lozoya. Although it remains unknown if anyone is still trapped in rubble, rescuers continued to sift through debris Friday morning while investigators examined the scene to try to determine the cause of the blast. A government official speaking anonymously said the initial determination is that a gas boiler blew up in an annex building beside the main, 54-storey tower.
The explosion occurred around 3:45 p.m. local time when most of the employees were on their lunch break outside the office. It appears the blast originated in the basement of the annex building and caused the first two floors to collapse. The main tower was not damaged. Responding firefighters and paramedics reported a strong gas smell at the scene.
Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong said at least 101 people were injured. Details on the severity of the injuries were not released.
At a press conference Thursday, Lozoya refused to speculate on the cause of the blast. “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," he said.
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