Mexico Pemex blast blamed on build-up of gas

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 rescue workers search for survivors after Pemex blast kills 25

PemexReuters, 2/1/2013

Emergency services worked into the early hours of Friday to find people trapped in rubble under state oil company Pemex’s headquarters in Mexico City after an explosion that killed at least 25 people and injured more than 100.

Scenes of confusion and chaos at the downtown tower dealt yet another blow to Pemex’s image as Mexico’s new president courts outside investment for the 75-year-old monopoly.

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Nieto seeks to open Mexican energy sector

Financial Times, 12/11/2012

120px-PemexEnrique Peña Nieto is pushing for constitutional reform as the new president attempts to open up Mexico’s state-run energy sector to private investment.

In his first interview with an international newspaper since taking office this month, Mr Peña Nieto told the Financial Times he would not privatise Pemex, the state oil company. But he said he was determined to use private investment in Mexico’s highly protected energy sector to boost wider development.

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