Oil company official says blast appears to be accidental

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Associated Press

Posted on February 1, 2013 at 11:33 AM

Updated Friday, Feb 1 at 11:36 AM

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The head of Mexico's state-owned oil company says the explosion that collapsed the lower floors of a building in the company's headquarters yesterday, killing at least 32 people, is being looked at as an accident. But he says all lines of investigation remain open.

More than 120 others were injured by the explosion, which left tons of rubble. More than 50 are still hospitalized. Emergency workers are continuing to dig, looking for additional victims or survivors.

A government official says early signs point to a problem in an area that housed electrical and air-conditioning equipment.

Mexico's president has pledged to open the state-owned company, Pemex, to more private and foreign investment. And that has brought warnings from leftists opposed to the privatization of the company.

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052-c-08-(Adriana Gomez Licon (ay-dree-AH'-nah GOH-mehz lee-KOHN'), AP correspondent)-"known in Mexico"-AP correspondent Adriana Gomez Licon reports the 52-story tower is the headquarters for Mexico's state-owned oil company. Updated: 02/01/2013-04:23:32 AM ET (1 Feb 2013)

<<CUT *052 (02/01/13)>> 00:08 "known in Mexico"

084-r-07-(Sound of sirens and emergency responders, racing to Pemex headquarters in Mexico City)--Sound of sirens and emergency responders racing to Pemex headquarters in Mexico City. (1 Feb 2013)

<<CUT *084 (02/01/13)>> 00:07

GRAPHICSBANK: Rescue workers search site of explosion at PEMEX office building, Mexico City, Mexico, over logo , partial graphic (1 Feb 2013)

GRAPHICSBANK: PEMEX logo, Mexican state run oil company, graphic element on black (1 Feb 2013)

APPHOTO MXMU105: Soldiers stand amid debris after an explosion at the state-owned oil company PEMEX office complex in Mexico City, Friday Feb. 1, 2013. Rescuers searched for survivors Friday and authorities promised a thorough investigation after an office building blast on Thursday killed 32 people and injured 121 at the headquarters of Mexico's state-owned oil company, Petroleos Mexicanos. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte) (1 Feb 2013)

<<APPHOTO MXMU105 (02/01/13)>>

APPHOTO MXMU107: A soldier removes debris after an explosion at the state-owned oil company PEMEX office complex in Mexico City, Friday Feb. 1, 2013. Rescuers searched for survivors Friday and authorities promised a thorough investigation after an office building blast on Thursday killed 32 people and injured 121 at the headquarters of Mexico's state-owned oil company, Petroleos Mexicanos. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte) (1 Feb 2013)

<<APPHOTO MXMU107 (02/01/13)>>

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