News / Americas

Blast Rocks Mexico's Pemex Building

Paramedics wheel an injured person to a helicopter at the parking lot of the state-run oil company Pemex after an explosion in Mexico City, January 31, 2013.
Paramedics wheel an injured person to a helicopter at the parking lot of the state-run oil company Pemex after an explosion in Mexico City, January 31, 2013.
Greg Flakus
Mexican officials are searching for answers after an explosion at the Mexico City headquarters of the state-run Pemex oil company killed at least 32 people. More than 100 others were injured.

The blast late Thursday shattered the lower floors of the company's 54-story tower in the capital. Ambulances and rescue crews arrived as workers streamed out of the building, which was shrouded in smoke. Initial reports indicate that the explosion occurred somewhere in the basement or in the basement of an adjacent building, but Mexican Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong says a complete investigation will have to wait.

He says the priority now is to search for people who may still be trapped in the lower part of the Pemex building and recover the bodies of those who have been killed. He says federal and city agencies as well as private relief organizations are coordinating their work at the site.
 
  • Rescue workers search for victims at the headquarters of state-owned Mexican oil giant Pemex in Mexico City following a blast inside the building, January 31, 2013.
  • Rescue workers carry an injured survivor after an explosion in a building at Mexico's state-owned oil company PEMEX complex, in Mexico City, January 31, 2013.
  • Relatives of Pemex's employees wait for information of their family members outside Pemex hospital in Azcapotzalco in Mexico City, January 31, 2013.
  • The Minister of the Interior, Miguel Angel Osorio Chong (C) addresses a press conference at the headquarters of state-owned Mexican oil giant Pemex in Mexico City following a blast inside the building, January 31, 2013.
  • An explosion rocked the skyscraper, leaving up to 25 dead and 101 injured, as a plume of black smoke billowed from the 54-floor tower, January 31, 2013.
  • A worker walks past debris piled outside the headquarters of state-owned oil giant Pemex in Mexico City, January 31, 2013.
  • Shattered windows are seen on one side of the headquarters of state oil giant Pemex in Mexico City, January 31, 2013.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto visited the site in the evening to survey the damage and the relief effort. He issued a statement of condolence to the families of the dead and said he has ordered an investigation into the cause of the blast.

Pemex, which is shorthand for Petroleos Mexicanos, is the state-owned oil company set up after the country nationalized foreign oil operations in 1938. The heavily taxed profits of the company cover about a third of the Mexican federal government's budget.

Pemex has suffered a number of serious accidents in recent years, including an explosion at a Pemex natural gas plant in northern Mexico in September that killed 30 people.

This latest incident also comes at a time when politicians are debating proposed reforms that would allow more foreign investment in Pemex projects. Nationalists have opposed almost any such investment as a possible move toward privatizing the company.

Although Pemex is one of the largest companies in the world, measured by total market value, its production has fallen in recent years as old fields play out. The company also has come under criticism for corruption and inefficiency. President Pena Nieto says he has no intention of privatizing Pemex, but he does seek some opening to private investment to help modernize the company.

You May Like

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

More Americas News

US, Cuba Teams Discuss Telecommunications Issues

US delegation visited Cuba this week as the two nations continued efforts to restore diplomatic relations broken over 50 years ago
More

Egyptian Court Adjourns Trial of Al Jazeera Journalists to April 22

Two journalists are charged with aiding a terrorist organization, a reference to the Muslim Brotherhood, which Egypt banned following 2013 army takeover
More

Rio Exhibition Dramatizes Olympian Bay Cleanup Task

Display highlights problem of trash in Guanabara Bay, where sailing, windsurfing events are to take place in next Summer Games
More

Chile Says Drought Permanent, Lays Out Water Plan

President Michelle Bachelet says government will invest in desalinization plants and reservoirs to ensure access to potable water
More

Poll: Venezuelan Leader's Popularity Inches Up to 25%

Rise comes after United States declared Venezuela a security threat and ordered sanctions against seven officials
More

High Winds, Drought Feed Chilean Forest Fires

Blazes have ravaged swaths of China Muerta and Nalca Lolco reserves and Conguillio national park, revered for its ancient forests
More