23 dead in Mexico tanker blast
May 8, 2013 -- Updated 0253 GMT (1053 HKT)
Burned cars are pictured in a highway in Ecatepec near Mexico city, on May 7, 2013.
- NEW: The death toll after a fiery tanker crash rises to 23
- Witness: "There was a flash, then a noise, and the ground began to shake"
- The driver is in the hospital but under arrest
- A tanker transporting gas crashed and exploded, police say
Read this story in Spanish
(CNN) -- A speeding tanker truck carrying gas crashed and exploded in a huge fireball along a highway near Mexico City Tuesday, killing at least 23 people and injuring dozens more, officials said.
"There was a flash, then a noise, and the ground began to shake," said Dulce Gonzalez, who lives in the neighborhood where the tanker plowed into homes early Tuesday morning.
Flames engulfed cars and houses near the explosion, video from CNN affiliate Foro TV showed.
As crews searched for survivors, residents combed through the burned out shells that remained where their homes once stood. Some rescuers removed livestock and pets from the charred ruins.
The federal highway division of the office of Mexico's transportation secretary said in a statement Tuesday night that 23 people had been killed.
Salvador Neme, the secretary for citizen security in Mexico state, said two of the victims were children.
According to initial reports from police, the tanker was speeding and the driver lost control, crashing into several homes and cars before exploding, Mexico's state-run Notimex news agency reported.
Federal highway officials said 26 people were injured after the explosion. Half of them were in serious condition.
The driver of the tanker was also in the hospital but under arrest, Neme said.
The blast occurred in the municipality of Ecatepec, in the state of Mexico.
At least 45 homes were damaged and 16 vehicles burned in the city, a large suburb near the nation's capital, Ecatepec Mayor Pablo Bedolla said.
Authorities opened a shelter in the area for 100 people left homeless after the fiery blast.
CNNMexico.com's Mauricio Torres and CNN's Catherine E. Shoichet contributed to this report.
Part of complete coverage on
December 9, 2013 -- Updated 1558 GMT (2358 HKT)
The Web is set to change our lives over the next decade. This will also question the use of personal data and balancing new powers with ethics.
December 9, 2013 -- Updated 0111 GMT (0911 HKT)
The image of the Shinkansen bullet train streaking past Mount Fuji is a powerful part of the iconography of the resurgent post-war Japan.
December 9, 2013 -- Updated 2023 GMT (0423 HKT)
Imagine the delight at unwrapping your Christmas present in 2043 and discovering you've been gifted a trip around the Moon.
December 9, 2013 -- Updated 0727 GMT (1527 HKT)
A new political party claiming to champion ordinary Indian voters makes a startling electoral debut.
Few words in Hungarian, including place names, are easily recognizable to foreigners.
December 9, 2013 -- Updated 1744 GMT (0144 HKT)
Browse through images you don't always see in news reports, taken by CNN teams all around the world.
December 9, 2013 -- Updated 1234 GMT (2034 HKT)
Walking into one of Yayoi Kusama's infinity rooms is like walking into a completely different universe.
December 9, 2013 -- Updated 1529 GMT (2329 HKT)
Meet Tony Allen -- famous for helping create Afrobeat by fusing different beats and patterns.
December 8, 2013 -- Updated 2116 GMT (0516 HKT)
Fans converged on the site where Paul Walker died to pay tribute to the actor. CNN's Paul Vercammen reports.
He was imprisoned for life but that did not quiet him. Nelson Mandela became South Africa's first black president, and an icon and inspiration.
December 9, 2013 -- Updated 1002 GMT (1802 HKT)
Watching digital artist Kyle Lambert's stunning photo-realistic iPad paintings emerge from a blank screen is an awe-inspiring experience.
Today's five most popular stories