By ANTHONY HARRUP and LAURENCE ILIFF
MEXICO CITY -- A blast that ripped through an office block
at the headquarters of Mexican state oil monopoly Petroleos
Mexicanos, or Pemex, killing at least 37 people, was caused by
an accumulation of gas, possibly methane, according to the
preliminary results of the investigation, Mexican Attorney
General Jesus Murillo said late Monday.
Speaking at a televised news conference, Mr. Murillo said
there were no signs that last Thursday's explosion, which tore
through several lower floors of a building next to Pemex's
48-story corporate tower in Mexico City, was caused by
However, he stopped short of declaring the explosion an
accident, and said the findings are still preliminary, adding
that the source of the gas has yet to be determined.
Investigators are still working to determine where the gas
came from, and whether or not there was anyone to blame.
The reasons for ruling out the use of explosives include the
fact that there was no crater at the site of the blast, the
steel girders weren't fractured, and the bodies of the victims
weren't dismembered, he said. "There are no traces of
explosives in the affected zone."
Only the bodies of three victims, workers who were in the
area closest to the source of the blast, had suffered burns, he
Pemex's chief executive, Emilio Lozoya, said a woman who had
been hospitalized with injuries died Monday, bringing the death
toll to 37. Of 126 people treated for injuries, 29 remained
hospitalized Monday, he said.
Mr. Lozoya also said Pemex staff would begin returning to
the complex, including the Pemex tower, on Wednesday, after
experts determined that the other buildings were safe.
Dow Jones Newswires