OK

I'm posting this more as a overnight placeholder than comprehensive diary, and I encourage others (particularly Spanish-speaking) to provide local updates as the story fills out.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/... (via Associated Press)

MEXICO CITY — An explosion at the office headquarters of Mexico's state-owned oil company killed 14 people and injured 100 on Thursday as it heavily damaged three floors of a building, sending hundreds into the streets and a large plume of smoke over Mexico City's skyline.

Another 30 people were reported trapped in the debris late Thursday, as soldiers with rescue dogs, trucks with mounted lights and a Pemex crane were brought in to extract victims. The Interior Ministry said it was uncertain of the exact number of people trapped because many were outside having lunch when the explosion occurred about 3:45 p.m. local time in a basement parking garage next to the iconic, 51-story tower of Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, one of the tallest buildings in Mexico City.

* Updated to reflect LA Times death toll upward revision to at least 25.

As this happened over six hours ago, I have to confess surprise at the lack of information in the US press.  This was the headquarters of Mexico's state-owned oil company in the heart of Mexico City, not a refinery or petroleum facility explosion.  There is no question that Mexican officials, who at first said the evacuations were due to an electrical outage (even as the injured were leaving the buildings), are being very tight-lipped about cause.  Nor can I find any comment from the White House or US officialdom.

If this was an act of terrorism -- and no one is going on the record saying so -- it would represent a devastating attack on the heart of the Mexican political power structure.

* Updating at 11pm pdt to pull back on conjecture of a deliberate attack, based on several accounts that the location of the blasts corresponds with the location of the building's power system.  But same sources say there is no determination of the cause at this time.  And thanks to jakedog42, resident boiler expert, who asserts in comments that a boiler explosion is perfectly capable of causing such a large and damaging explosion, even in 52-story skyscraper.

As it stands, this is an ongoing catastrophe that will extend into the day tomorrow, and will bear close watching.  Thanks to any Kossacks who can fill in details over the next 12 hours, particularly any Mexican Kossacks who can chime in with local information.

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