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Death toll rises to 36 in Mexico explosion

Feb. 4, 2013 at 5:50 PM   |   Comments

MEXICO CITY, Feb. 4 (UPI) -- The death toll has risen to 36 following an explosion at a Mexican oil company's headquarters and the search for survivors has been called off, officials said.

One person remains unaccounted for amid the rubble at the Pemex compound in Mexico City. The blast injured 121 others and 35 people remain hospitalized, eight in critical condition, MNI said Monday.

Speculation abounds about the cause and nature of Thursday's blast -- there was no fireball and officials have been stumped by what might have caused the building to explode -- leading many to call on a government report to reveal the facts. It happened in the basement of an administrative building and was strong enough to blow out windows in the neighboring 52-story skyscraper.

A terrorist attack has not been ruled out, officials said.

That has put pressure on newly elected President Enrique Pena Nieto to produce a report that satisfies the public.

Mexico Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam pledged Friday afternoon the government's commitment to transparency in investigating the blast.

"The government of Mexico is prepared to discover the truth," he said. "Be it accident, carelessness or attack."

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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