Probe rules out foul play in Pemex HQ blast

Pemex05 August 2013, News Wires – A massive explosion that killed nearly 40 people in late January at state oil company Pemex’s Mexico City headquarters was caused by a gas buildup, Mexico’s attorney general’s office said on Friday, ruling out foul play, according to a report.

A six-month investigation confirmed a preliminary conclusion that the 31 January explosion that collapsed several floors of the headquarters’ B2 building, which contained archived documents, was caused by faulty building design that provided poor ventilation in the basement area, Reuters reported.

Methane from the soil and other gases collecting in the basement of the building for years with no ventilation, in addition to fumes from industrial solvents stored there, were accidentally sparked by workers attempting repairs, the investigation found.

The conclusion of the investigation comes as Mexico’s Congress is about to launch a debate over energy reform legislation that aims to overhaul Pemex and the country’s oil, gas and electricity sectors.

– Upstream

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