On Thursday, Jan. 31, an explosion occurred through the streets of central Mexico City, in the headquarters of the oil company PEMEX. BBC World News has reported 33 people dead and 121 injured in the sudden explosion, which came without warning or motive. Rescuers searched all night for survivors in the rubble of the building and are currently looking for the cause of the blast.
According to NBC Nightly News, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto went to the site of PEMEX’s 52-floor skyscraper to oversee the search for survivors, before subsequently visiting a local hospital to comfort those employees and bystanders injured in the violent explosion. According to The New York Times, Emilio Lozoyo Austin, the president of PEMEX, believes the cause was an accident, but made a point of saying that a thorough investigation would ensue to discover the exact cause of this tragedy in his interviews with local and international reporters.
The sudden and seemingly random explosion has many people wondering why the Mexican government is not doing more to explain the explosion. Frustration with PEMEX’s lack of open discourse with the public and the government’s failure to provide details on the actual occurrences of the explosion have provided citizens the opportunity to imagine terrors of their own. According to The New York Times, social media has been filled with the promulgation of government conspiracies and allegations of intentional bomb detonation in the past few days, displaying underlying mistrust of Mexican citizens with regards to government institutions.
Despite the spread of radical theories among the public, who are simply searching for answers where none have yet been found, many experts and pundits, both within Mexico and abroad, have stated no evidence exists to suggest a bombing.
Additionally, explosives experts across the United States have emphasized the complexity of blasts such as this one. Many have said it can take weeks for workers to explain a blast, especially when it is caused by mechanical malfunctions.
NBC Nightly News cited an anonymous government official as stating early findings point to an aged boiler exploding in a tower close to PEMEX’s building, causing the ceiling of the oil company’s basement to collapse. The official commented on the instability of the tower before the blast; apparently, there was already a great deal of damage in the ceilings and windows of the building’s first three floors. However, until an official report is published, the exact cause of the explosion remains in shadow, leaving the public with many questions as the civilian death and injury toll climbs higher each day. Until then, the incident remains a mystery.
Information from NBC Nightly News, the New York Times and BBC World News was used in this article.