3rd Person Dies in Mexico Border Factory Blast

October 28, 2013

ciudad-juarez-en-mexicoThe New York Times, 10/27/2013

A Chihuahua state attorney general’s spokesman says a third person has died from injuries in a candy factory explosion last week on Mexico’s border with the United States.

Arturo Sandoval says the 41-year-old employee of the factory Dulces Blueberry in Ciudad Juarez died late Saturday from third-degree burns that covered most of his body.

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Mexico sweet factory hit by deadly explosion

October 25, 2013

BBC News, 10/24/2013

fire by Flikr user Loving EarthAt least one person has died and dozens more are injured in an explosion and fire that tore through a sweet factory in northern Mexico. A boiler is believed to have exploded in the Dulces Blueberry factory at an industrial park in Ciudad Juarez, causing the ceiling to collapse. About 300 people were said to be in the factory at the time and several are still unaccounted for. Fire crews and about 30 ambulances were at the scene.

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Watch the Shockwave of an Explosion at Mexico’s Popocatépetl

June 18, 2013
Photo: CM Ortega (Flickr)

Photo: CM Ortega (Flickr)

Wired, 6/17/2013

Volcanism at Mexico’s Popocatépetl is highly punctuated, especially during its current level of activity where domes of lava grow in the summit crater. These domes occasionally collapse or are destroyed by explosions that can lessen the pressure on the magma beneath to create an even larger explosion. This is akin to popping the top off a shaken bottle of soda — the dissolved bubbles come out of solution rapidly as the pressure is released and you get an explosion of soda.

Today, Popocatépetl had one of those explosions, and thanks to the beautiful weather in Mexico and some nice placement of webcams surrounding the volcano, the explosion was caught on some pretty amazing webcam footage compiled by webcamsdemexico. The video is short, only 30 second long, but after the first few seconds of calm, the explosion occurs, sending a dark grey plume into the atmosphere above the volcano. Now, these explosions come with a lot of force, and you can see after the initial explosion is how the clouds of water vapor around Popocatepetl shudder as the explosion front moves past.

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Workers return to Mexico’s Pemex HQ after blast that killed 37

February 8, 2013

PemexLos Angeles Times, 2/7/2013

Workers at Mexico’s state-run oil company have begun returning to the job — some apprehensively — amid official declarations of back-to-normal conditions at the headquarters that suffered a deadly work-hours blast last week.

Some workers expressed concern and doubt over the government’s initial explanation that the blast was caused by an accumulation of gas ignited possibly by an electrical spark, while others declined to discuss the topic or said evidence pointing to an accidental gas explosion seemed strong.

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Will blast at Mexico oil company shift opinions on privatization?

February 6, 2013

energy - oil_rigThe Christian Science Monitor, 2/5/2013

A buildup of gas in the basement provoked the explosion that ripped through four floors of Mexico’s state-owned oil company, killing 37 people and injuring more than 100. That’s the latest assessment of the cause of last Thursday’s tragedy at the 52-story tower housing the corporate offices of Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, according to Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam. A spark caused by maintenance workers ignited the gas, the source of which is not yet known, he said.

The explosion comes as Mexico gears up for a heated battle over the fate of Pemex, created when President Lázaro Cárdenas expropriated foreign oil companies and nationalized the industry in 1938. The company remains a powerful symbol of sovereignty, despite also possessing a reputation for corruption and graft.

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Mexico Pemex blast blamed on build-up of gas

February 5, 2013

pemex2BBC News, 2/5/2013

A deadly blast at the headquarters of the Mexican state oil company Pemex was caused by a build-up of gas, the attorney general has said. Jesus Murillo Karam said no traces of explosives were found at the site in Mexico City. He said experts believed an electrical fault had caused a spark that detonated the leaking gas last Thursday. The death toll from the blast has risen to 37. Several lower floors collapsed in the explosion. More than 100 people are being treated in hospital, many of them injured by falling masonry.

Mr Murillo Karam said the source of the gas was still being investigated, although it is believed methane gas may have leaked from ducts beneath the building or from the sewer system. “There are several possible sources,” he added. “This explosion… generated an effect on the structures of the floors of the building, first pushing them up and then causing them to fall, and that was the primary cause of deaths in the building,” he said.

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Mexico Still Seeking Answers Days After Deadly Pemex Blast

February 4, 2013

Pemex LogoBloomberg, 2/3/2013

The search for the cause of a blast that destroyed three floors of a building at Petroleos Mexicanos’s headquarters and killed at least 34 people entered a fourth day, as investigators toiled ahead of a self-imposed deadline for finding an answer.

“In a few hours, a day or two, but no later,” we’ll have update on the certainty of the cause of the blast, Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam, said Feb 1.

The nation’s deadliest explosion since a mine accident in 2006 comes as President Enrique Pena Nieto, who took office Dec. 1, plans to submit a bill to increase private investment in the energy industry and lower taxes on Pemex, the nation’s largest company by revenue and the world’s fourth-biggest crude producer.

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