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Death toll from blast in Mexican oil company HQ hits 32

 
 
 
 
 
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Soldiers, Federal policemen and firefighter remove debris, and look for victims of a blast at the headquarters of state-owned Mexican oil giant Pemex in Mexico City, February 1, 2013.

The death toll from a powerful explosion, which had hit the headquarters of Mexico’s state-run oil company Pemex in Mexico City, has risen to 32 from an earlier figure of 25.

According to a statement released by Pemex’s chief executive officer, Emilio Lozoya, on Friday, at least 32 people including 20 women were killed and more than 121 others injured in the explosion.

The blast, which took place on Thursday in a power supply room, inflicted heavy damage on three floors of the 52-story building of Petroleos Mexicanos.

“It was an explosion, a shock, the lights went out and suddenly there was a lot of debris,” employee Cristian Obele said minutes after the blast.

Another worker said the “strong explosion” shattered windows, leaving a large number of people in shock.

Following the incident, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto issued a statement, saying that the police had launched an investigation into the incident.

“We have no conclusive report on the reason,” Nieto said. “We will work to get to the bottom of the investigation to find out, first, what happened … and if there are people responsible in this case, that we apply the full weight of the law against them.”

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