3 charged in explosion at Mexican children’s hospital

MEXICO CITY- Three gas company workers have been charged with involuntary manslaughter and criminal mischief linked to a gas explosion at a children’s hospital in Mexico City, the city’s mayor said Friday.

Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera said 120 people were inside the Children hospital of Cuajimalpa when the blast occurred Thursday morning, causing 3 deaths and 73 injuries.

“There 18 people who are badly hurt, half of them are babies,” he said, while adding that 39 victims are still under medical care for injuries.

President Enrique Pena Nieto assured Mancera the hospital will be reconstructed but the work will take one year to complete.

About 39 buildings sustained damage from flying debris and glass shards. 

Gas Express Nieto, contracted by the city to refuel the gas tank at the hospital, and 36 other clinics and hospitals, is free of any criminal charges, for the moment,

Although the company has had at least eight accidents in the last seven years, Energy Secretary Pedro Joaquin Codwell said the public contracts with Gas Express Nieto are not at risk.  

“The company has been sanctioned in the past for different transgression of administrative nature, but the truck used yesterday had been inspected in May 2014 and is allowed to operate for a year,” Cowell told Radio Formula.

The explosion at the hospital occurred as the fire department worked to control a gas leak that was reported by the company as it refueled the hospital's gas tank.

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