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
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 2009 GMT (0409 HKT)
The U.S. and several Arab nations carried out airstrikes against ISIS in Syria, intensifying the campaign against the militant group.
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 1218 GMT (2018 HKT)
Her friends were raped and her brother was killed by ISIS, but 15-year-old "Aria" managed to escape.
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 1058 GMT (1858 HKT)
Emma Watson lent her name and her glittery profile to the cause of feminism at the United Nations.
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 0106 GMT (0906 HKT)
From Gadhafi to Ahmadinejad, Bush to Chavez: look back at memorable moments from past UNGA sessions. Richard Roth reports.
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 0741 GMT (1541 HKT)
Just days after NASA's Mars orbiter reached the Red Planet, India's first mission could follow suit and make history.
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 2314 GMT (0714 HKT)
Khorasan, al Qaeda's new branch, seeks new ways to attack America and Europe.
Alibaba officially became the biggest initial public offering of all time, confirming that in the final tally it raised $25 billion.
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 0257 GMT (1057 HKT)
Do the Chinese really like to mix their Bordeaux with Coca-Cola?
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 0936 GMT (1736 HKT)
Cape Town native, Janine Davies is South Africa's first female rider to compete on a national level.
In the largely male-dominated world of the motorsport, South African super bike racer Janine Davies is an anomaly.
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 1130 GMT (1930 HKT)
The Lilongwe Wildlife Center houses over 200 animal victims and helps rehabilitate them back into the wild.
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 1052 GMT (1852 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