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At least 14 dead in blast

A powerful explosion rocked the Mexico City headquarters of state oil giant Pemex on Thursday (January 31), killing at least 14 people and injuring 100 others. The blast hit the lower floors of the downtown tower block, throwing debris into the streets and sending workers running outside. Officials said it was not yet clear what caused the explosion, and that the death toll could still rise. Media reports said machinery inside the building had apparently exploded. But an ambulance service official at the scene, who asked not to be named, said it was caused by a gas leak. Police quickly cordoned off the building, and television images showed the explosion caused serious damage to the ground floor and blew out windows on the lower floors of the tower. Pemex said initially its headquarters had been evacuated because of a problem with its electricity supply. Search-and-rescue dogs were sent into the skyscraper, a Mexico City landmark more than 50 floors high and sporting a distinctive "hat" on top.

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