Feb. 4 - Rescue teams step up efforts to find remaining victims trapped under debris at Pemex's Mexico City headquarters after an explosion at the site killed at least 35 people. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
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(ROUGH CUT ONLY - NO REPORTER NARRATION)
Rescue crews stepped up efforts to locate survivors amongst the debris of Pemex's battered Mexico City skyscraper on Sunday (February 03) after an explosion at the site killed at least 35 people.
With slabs of concrete and heavy wiring hampering the desperate search for people trapped inside, emergency teams are preparing to remove debris and cut through tonnes of wreckage to reach blast victims as the hunt for survivors reaches a critical final stage.
An estimated 200 to 250 people were working on the three floors hit hardest by the explosion when the blast hit on Thursday (January 31) afternoon.
Among those believed to be trapped inside is employee Luis Ojeda. Desperately waiting for news on her missing brother, Maria Luisa Ojeda is holding out hope that he is found alive.
Speculation over the cause of the blast has ranged from a bomb attack, to a gas leak, to a boiler blowing up. Mexico's government has vowed to find out whether the explosion was a deliberate attack or another stain on the company's poor safety record.
Pemex, which was created when Mexico nationalised its oil industry in 1938, is a symbol of self-sufficiency but it has also been blighted by corruption, inefficiency and frequent accidents costing hundreds of lives.
In September, a fire at a Pemex gas facility near the northern city of Reynosa killed 30 people. More than 300 were killed when a Pemex natural gas plant on the outskirts of Mexico City blew up in 1984. Eight years later, about 200 people were killed and 1,500 injured after a series of underground gas explosions in Guadalajara, Mexico's second-biggest city. An official investigation found Pemex was partly to blame.
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