Mexico’s president visited hospitalized victims of a gas truck explosion that ripped through a children’s hospital, killing three and injuring more than 70 people.
Enrique Pena Nieto, accompanied by Mexico City Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera, talked to injured mothers that were able to grab their children and flee from the Maternity and Children’s Hospital of Cuajimalpa, on the outskirts of the capital that was shattered by a powerful gas explosion.
A nurse and a baby died in the blast and a second infant died on Thursday night, Mexico City authorities said.
More than 70 people were injured in the blast that collapsed about three-fourths of the hospital, but by late in the day rescuers determined no one was left trapped in the rubble.
While at the explosion site, Mancera said some of the injured were about to be released from local hospitals, including some mothers who suffered injuries while using their bodies to shield their children.
Several babies were found under the rubble. Scores of rescue workers dug through the concrete and twisted metal for survivors.
People seeking information on family members gathered around police lines that were set up to keep bystanders away from the chaotic scene earlier in the day. Some of the injured were evacuated by helicopter, and aerial footage showed firefighters scrambling over the skeletal wreckage of the building.
The explosion occurred on Thursday morning, when a gas tank truck was making a routine delivery of gas to the hospital kitchen and gas started to leak.
Witnesses said the tanker workers struggled frantically for 15 or 20 minutes to repair the leak while a large cloud of gas formed.
People started to evacuate the hospital, and then came a devastating explosion that sent up an enormous fireball and plumes of dust and smoke.
This story is compiled with formation from The Associated Press and Reuters.
The deadly explosion that leveled a Mexico City maternity hospital has led to arrests. CCTV America’s Franc Contreras reported the story from Mexico City.