World

Gas Buildup Caused Blast At Mexican Oil Company Headquarters

NPR | Feb. 4, 2013 7:42 p.m.

Contributed By:

Krishnadev Calamur

Last week’s deadly explosion at the headquarters of Mexico’s national oil company was caused by a buildup of gas in the building’s basement, the country’s attorney general said Monday.

Here’s more from The Associated Press:

“Jesus Murillo Karam says an investigation by Mexican, Spanish, U.S. and British experts found no evidence of explosives in the blast that collapsed several lower floors of the Petroleos Mexicanos administrative building on Thursday afternoon.

“He said Monday that the experts believe that an electrical fault had caused a spark that detonated the leaking gas. There was scant evidence of the burn marks typical in a bomb blast, he said. There was also no sign of a crater like that typically left by an explosive device.”

The death toll from the explosion is 37. As NPR’s Carrie Kahn reported on Monday’s All Things Considered, over the weekend crews pulled three more bodies from the PEMEX headquarters.

Here’s more from Carrie’s story:

“The oil monopoly has been plagued for years by a horrendous accident record, widespread corruption and antiquated infrastructure. Oil output at the state monopoly has been falling and some experts say without the infusion of foreign investment, Mexico, one of the world’s largest oil producer may be importing oil by 2018.”

[Copyright 2013 NPR]

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