Skip to main content

23 dead in Mexico tanker blast

By Mariano Castillo, CNN
May 8, 2013 -- Updated 0253 GMT (1053 HKT)
Burned cars are pictured in a highway in Ecatepec near Mexico city, on May 7, 2013.
Burned cars are pictured in a highway in Ecatepec near Mexico city, on May 7, 2013.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • 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.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 2245 GMT (0645 HKT)
Pakistan Taliban say the school attack was revenge for the killing of children in a military offensive -- but they are being pressed by defections to ISIS.
A group that claims it hacked Sony Pictures has posted a public threat against moviegoers who see Sony's "The Interview."
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 0243 GMT (1043 HKT)
The gunman behind the deadly siege in Sydney this week was not on a security watch list, and Australia's Prime Minister wants to know why.
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 0948 GMT (1748 HKT)
Bestselling author Marjorie Liu had set her sights on being a lawyer, but realized it wasn't what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 2027 GMT (0427 HKT)
CNN's Matthew Chance looks into an HRW report saying Russia has "legalized discrimination against LGBT people."
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 0212 GMT (1012 HKT)
The Sydney siege has brought home some troubling truths to Australians. They are not immune to what are often called "lone-wolf" terror attacks.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 0012 GMT (0812 HKT)
A social media campaign condemning Islamophobia under the hashtag #illridewithyou has taken off after Sydney hostage siege.
Bill Cosby has kept quiet as sexual assault allegations mounted against him, but his wife, Camille, finally spoke out in defense of her husband.
December 15, 2014 -- Updated 1144 GMT (1944 HKT)
China-bound AirAsia flight turns back to Bangkok after passenger throws water over crew member.
December 15, 2014 -- Updated 1026 GMT (1826 HKT)
It takes Nepalese eye doctor, Sanduk Ruit about five minutes to change someone's life.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 1054 GMT (1854 HKT)
This epic journey crosses 13,000 kilometers, eight countries over 21 days. Find out where.
December 19, 2014 -- Updated 1431 GMT (2231 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT