Monday, May 20, 2024

Gas explosion in Tlalpan causes building collapse, injuring at least 15

A house collapsed following a gas explosion in the southern Mexico City borough of Tlalpan on Tuesday morning, injuring at least 15 people, four of whom are being treated for serious injuries.

Emergency personnel on the scene told reporters the cause of the blast — which occurred around 8 a.m. — was an accumulation of gas. A gas tank inside the house was initially identified as the source of the explosion, though what caused the gas leak has yet to be determined.

The house that collapsed in a gas explosion
The explosion destroyed the house. (@i_alaniis/X)

The news broadcaster TV Azteca reported that 15 people were treated for injuries at the scene of the gas explosion, and four were considered serious.

Two of the victims suffered serious burns and another suffered crush injuries. One of the burn victims and the crush victim were quickly transported to the nearby Six Flags México amusement park where helicopters were waiting to transport them to the Xoco General Hospital in the borough of Coyoacán.

Firemen, paramedics and other emergency personnel were on the scene within minutes, as neighbors searched among the wreckage for trapped family members.

Mexico City police and Civil Protection officials established a perimeter and assisted with the rescue operation. Shortly thereafter, city officials were on site with heavy machinery to clear the debris. The smell of gas was still detectable 30 minutes after the explosion.

A Conalep technical college nearby was unaffected but authorities momentarily evacuated the school grounds before giving the all-clear. Four nearby houses were damaged by the blast and the newspaper El Economista reported that one of these buildings appeared to be on the verge of collapse. 

Humberto González Arroyo, tactical director of Mexico City’s Risk Assessment and Civil Protection Ministry, was on hand to coordinate the evacuations and lead the damage assessment operation as the clean-up continued.

Tlalpan borough officials issued an update via social media at 9:45 a.m., informing the public that firemen were still in the neighborhood and monitoring the situation. 

The borough also released the names of the hospitalized: Minerva Martínez (62), Miguel Reséndiz (68), Feliciana Hernández Reséndiz (66), José Luis Zedillo Rosas (65) and Leticia Sánchez (58).

The newspaper El Universal reported that a child was also taken to hospital for treatment, but borough officials did not confirm that information.

Tlalpan — the third-largest of Mexico City’s 16 boroughs — extends southwest beyond the urban sprawl toward the Ajusco mountain range. The Miguel Hidalgo neighborhood where the explosion occurred is immediately south of the Pedregal Forest National Park, about 25 kilometers south of the National Palace in the Historic Center of the capital.

With reports from El Universal and Proceso

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