In Mexico City, a gas tank truck has exploded outside a maternity and children’s hospital that has reportedly killed at least seven people, including four infants. Many more were injured by flying glass, while 100 were believed to be within the hospital at the time that the explosion occurred.
Rescuers are currently on the scene, where they are searching for any victims who might still be trapped under rubble and metal remnants.
BBC News has relayed that “the blast, on the western edge of Mexico City, was so large that much of the building was destroyed.” The cause of the deadly blast is said to have been caused by a leak in the hose carrying gas from the truck to the hospital by the mayor of Mexico City, Angel Mancera.
Further reports have indicated that at least 54 people were injured in the blast, with 22 of those being children. One eye witness, named Ismael Garcia, termed the destructive blast a “super explosion,” and was somewhat relieved, stating, “[f]ortunately, we were able to get eight babies out.”
Sadly, the horrific scene caused by the gas leak is not a solitary event in Mexico City, as there have recently been a number of similar explosions in past years that have resulted in fatalities, which raises the question as to why the same harmful circumstances are resulting.
BBC reminds of an explosion that occurred in February of 2013 at “the headquarters of the state energy firm, Pemex,” in which 37 people lost their lives.
Laura Diaz Pacheo, a laboratory technician, attempted to relay the news as to what exactly occurred Thursday and what the root cause was of the horrific explosion.
“The hose broke. The two gas workers tried to stop it, but they were very nervous. They yelled for people to get out. Everyone’s initial reaction was to go inside, away from the gas. Maybe as many as 10 of us were able to get out… The rest stayed inside.”
Sixty-six-year old anesthesiologist Agustin Herrera recounts what he witnessed, as ABC News reports his words. “Call the firefighters, call the firefighters!” Herrera then said that “people started to evacuate the hospital, and then came the massive explosion that sent up an enormous fireball and plumes of dust and smoke.” The witness also added that there had been nine babies in the 35-bed nursery and on had been in a critical condition before the explosion.
One fortunate detail that Herrera noted is that an even larger tragedy was avoided because there were oxygen tanks that, thankfully, didn’t explode.
The most damaged portions of the hospital are reportedly the neonatology, reception, and emergency reception units.
The driver and two employees were hospitalized but are also in custody, said a Mexico City government spokesman, who remains unnamed.
President Enrique Pena Nieto expressed his condolences and sadness at hearing the news and, also intends to offer support for the victims through his official Twitter account.
The hospital, located in a middle class neighborhood, is next to a school.
[Featured image via Global News]