MEXICO CITY (AP) — An explosion at the main headquarters of Mexico’s state-owned oil company in the capital Thursday heavily damaged three floors of the building, sending hundreds into the streets and a large plume of smoke over the skyline. Local media reported that at least one person had died and about 40 were injured.
Guillermo GutierrezFirefighters belonging to the Tacubaya sector and workers dig for survivors after an explosion at an adjacent building to the executive tower of Mexico’s state-owned oil company PEMEX, in Mexico City, Thursday Jan. 31, 2013. A large explosion occurred in the lower floors of the building and dozens have been reported injured so far. (AP Photo/Guillermo Gutierrez)
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There was no immediate cause given for the explosion which occurred in the basement of an administrative building next to the iconic, 52-story tower of Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex.
“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. “Co-workers helped us get out of the building.”
The tower, where several thousand people work, was evacuated. 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.