At least two killed in gas explosion near Mexico City maternity hospital

Emergency responders work at the site of an explosion at a maternity hospital in Mexico City Thursday. The explosion rocked the hospital west of Mexico City when a leak from a gas truck ignited, destroying a large part of the building and killing at least two people. Photo by Edgard Garrido/Reuters

At least two people have been killed and 60 injured when a gas tanker exploded near a Mexico City maternity hospital, officials said Thursday.

Mexico City Mayor Miguel Ángel Mancera in a press conference said 22 of those injured are in serious condition, the Associated Press reported. He said that 70 percent of the hospital had collapsed. Emergency workers continue to dig for trapped survivors.

The tanker was making a routine delivery this morning to the city-run Maternity and Children's Hospital of Cuajimalpa when gas started to leak, forming a large cloud.

The AP reported these eyewitness accounts from the scene:

"The hose broke. The two gas workers tried to stop it, but they were very nervous. They yelled for people to get out," said Laura Diaz Pacheco, a laboratory technician.

"Everyone's initial reaction was to go inside, away from the gas," she added. "Maybe as many as 10 of us were able to get out … The rest stayed inside."

Workers on the truck yelled: "Call the firefighters, call the firefighters!" said 66-year-old anesthesiologist Agustin Herrera. People started to evacuate the hospital, and then came the massive explosion that sent up an enormous fireball and plumes of dust and smoke.

Mexico's president Enrique Peña Nieto expressed his sympathy on Twitter, writing in Spanish, "My sadness and sympathy go to the families of those injured and killed this morning in the Maternity Hospital of Cuajimalpa."

A delegate for Cuajimalpa, a burrough of Mexico City, Adrián Rubalcava tweeted harrowing images from the scene with the message: "We need support: water, diapers, formula for [babies]."

Some areas in Mexico City do not have gas mains, so gas is routinely delivered by truck.

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