Three gas company employees have been arrested following yesterday morning’s explosion at the Cuajimalpa Maternity Hospital in México City, a blast that killed three people and injured more than 70 others.
A truck owned by Gas Express Nieto was delivering propane to the hospital when a hose is believed to have burst. Firefighters were called to the scene and while attempting to halt the flow of gas began evacuating people from the hospital. It has been estimated there were about 110 people inside at the time.
It was at that point the explosion occurred, just a few minutes after those inside the building began to smell the gas. For the next few hours, as firefighters fought the resulting blaze, other emergency services personnel and neighbors began searching the rubble for victims.
In the end, the toll was three dead — two babies and a nurse — and 72 injured, 14 of them seriously.
One two-month-old baby who had been born prematurely has been transferred to a hospital in Galveston, Texas, after suffering burns to 60% of his body.
According to Civil Protection officers, the rear of the gas truck had struck the building as the driver was reversing the vehicle into position to make the delivery at about 7:00am. It is thought the hose used to deliver the gas was damaged at that moment.
México City Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera said today that rebuilding the hospital — of which about 70% was destroyed — will cost 500 million pesos, or US $33 million.