An explosion at the headquarters of a Mexican oil company, Pemex, left 33 workers dead and at least 121 others wounded on Thursday. The blast originated in the basement of an administrative building next to the company’s iconic 51-story tower in Mexico city at around 3:45 p.m. local time, heavily damaging three floors and trapping dozens of people.
“It was an explosion, a shock, the lights went out and suddenly there was a lot of debris,” employee Cristian Obele told Milenio television. “Co-workers helped us get out of the building.”
The cause of the blast has not yet been confirmed, but El Universal newspaper reported that the explosion may have been caused by an overheated air conditioning unit, while another said it might have been from a buildup of natural gas.
The Mexico City government sent rescue teams with search dogs to look for victims trapped under the debris from the explosion.
“I deeply regret the deaths of Pemex workers and colleagues. My condolences to the families,” President Enrique Peña Nieto said via Twitter.
The president of the company also said that searching for the survivors and tending to the injured were his top priorities.