Mexico Blames Fatal Blast on Gas Buildup, Not Bomb

No evidence of bombing in explosion that killed 37
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 5, 2013 12:03 AM CST
Mexico: Gas Buildup Caused Deadly Blast
Soldiers patrol next to debris caused by an explosion at the state-owned oil company PEMEX office complex in Mexico City, Friday Feb. 1, 2013. .   (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

A gas buildup ignited by an electrical spark or other heat source caused the blast that killed 37 people and wounded dozens of others last week at the state oil company's Mexico City headquarters, Mexico's attorney general says. Investigators are still looking for the source of the gas, and reviewing records of building inspections to determine why Petroleos Mexicanos had not discovered the gas accumulation.

An investigation by Mexican and international experts into the petroleum giant's worst disaster in more than a decade found no evidence of explosives in the blast that collapsed several lower floors of the Pemex administrative building, the attorney general says. With the exception of three victims, none of those killed had the burn marks or damaged ear drums that are typical evidence of a bombing, he says. Nor was there any sign of a crater or fracturing of the building's steel beams, also common signs of the detonation of an explosive device. (Read more Pemex stories.)

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