The explosion, which is thought to have come from a neighbouring building, destroyed the lower floors of the city center tower in the middle of the afternoon on Thursday. The cause of the blast is still being investigated, but many news outlets are reporting that it may have originated from a gas boiler in the building next door, which is also owned by Pemex.
Mexican Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong has has that 25 people are known to have died so far, over 100 have been injured, and that the death toll could still rise further as recuers continue to clear the area. At least one person has been pulled from the rubble alive by rescuers, but others are still trapped. A paramedic named Mauricio Parra who was working at the scene of the incident last night told Reuters that as many as 100 people could still be trapped.
President Enrique Pena Nieto visited the scene of the explosion on Thursday evening, promising a thorough investigation, and vowing to use “the force of the law” to punish anyone found to be responsible for the blast.
Search and rescue dogs are now working together with human rescue workers to find anyone still trapped under the building.
Pemex has been plagued by a series of safety problems over recent years, including several deadly accident. Perhaps the worst accident occurred in 1984, when 300 were killed in an explosion at a Pemex natural gas plant just outside Mexico City. In 1992 around 200 people died and as many as 1,5000 were injured in a series of underground gas explosions in Guadalajara, for which Pemex was found to be partially responsible following an investigation by officials. Most recently an explosion at a Pemex owned natural gas facility in northern Mexico left 30 dead in September.