A gas explosion in the center of Mexico City destroyed an apartment block Monday, killing one person, injuring 29 and leaving scores of families homeless.
The blast occurred at 10:17 a.m. in apartment 207, 1909 Coyoacán y Amores avenue in Benito Juárez borough. One person died some hours later in hospital, while two others suffered second and third-degree burns on up to 60% of their bodies and minor injuries from the impact of bricks, glass and debris. Eleven people were transferred to hospital in total, two of whom were suffering from Covid-19.
Residents fled the 63-apartment building, some in their underwear and others carrying pets, before emergency services arrived to treat injured people on the pavement. Some residents said there had been a smell of gas in the building for days.
Three hundred people from neighboring buildings were evacuated.
Rescue teams entered the building without knowing if it had suffered structural damage, according to the news website Infobae. In a video published by a journalist an injured man who was stuck inside the building was taken to safety as he cried in pain.
Images of some of the apartments were uploaded onto social media after the explosion, showing the destruction of floors, ceilings and walls.
The apartments of 30 families have been left uninhabitable, but will be covered by insurance, according to the newspaper El Universal. The newspaper also reported that some of the 300 evacuated people had begun to return to their homes.
Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum and Benito Juárez Mayor Santiago Taboada, attended the scene, where Taboada said there did not appear to be any structural damage and Sheinbaum said it was fortunate the property was insured, before adding that housing and psychological support would be provided to the more than 63 families affected.
The Mexico City Attorney General’s Office has opened an investigation into the explosion.