Juarez maquiladora explosion; 1 dead, 52 injured

KDBC
Friday, October 25, 2013 - 3:45pm

UPDATE 11:00 p.m.

Governor of Chihuahua Cesar Duarte has announced some of the severely injured will be transported to hospitals in Galveston, Texas.
 

UPDATE 10:30 p.m.

 It was a tragic day for employees at Blueberry Candy Factory and their families in Ciudad Juarez. A massive explosion left at least one dead, 52 employees injured and 11 in critical condition.

"They told me some people were trapped but we don't know right now they're counting the people that were inside I don't know if someone else is missing" eyewitness Juan Hernandez said.

According to witnesses, the explosion happened after a boiler collapsed in one of the work areas. Police said 40 employees were working there.

Juarez Mayor Enrique Serrano arrived at the explosion site moments after it happened. He said the city will provide medical assistance for the families and a investigation will begin immediately.

"We have to make sure that no one is still inside the building that's what we're working on and making sure we know what happened" Juarez Mayor Enrique Serrano said.

Governor of Chihuahua Cesar Duarte arrived hours later to view the damages and visit the injured at the hospital.

One desperate mother waited for hours to hear news about her son, like so many others who cried and hoped for a miracle.

"What's happening there? They're taking bodies out. My son is missing. Nobody is giving me information and he's not in any hospital. We need to know what's happening," the woman said.

It is expected that the candy factory will post a link of those missing victims and fatalities.

Authorities of the State of Chihuahua issued an investigative order to determine responsabilities. Rescue crews are still on scene in the search of victims. 

ORIGINAL STORY: Andra Litton

An explosion was reported at the Blueberry maquiladora in Juarez located at Calle Magneto No. 1810 in the "Benito Juarez" Industrial Park area at approximately 1:30 p.m. Thursday afternoon.

A boiler allegedly exploded, causing the second floor of the building to collapse. Officials on scene estimate that 40 victims are in the ICU, dozens more were injured.  Some victims are still trapped in rubble and authorities fear there may be bodies located within the building as well.

The Mexican Army and Federal Police are on location, along with Juarez Mayor Enrique Serrano and the Juarez medical examiner. There are approximately 30 fire vehicles and ambulances still transporting victims to area hospitals from the scene. Family members have gathered and are seen crying outside of the exclusion zone.

The Chihuahua state government tweeted (translation) "We regret the incident happened in maquiladora # CdJuárez; relief units are moving wounded to hospitals. We are ready to attend to the needs of those affected in this incident, providing the necessary assistance."

The factory employs about 300 workers in the area where the incident occurred. There has been no official word on how many of those were inside the building at the time of the explosion.

A Local 4 crew is on the scene and will update as more information becomes available.

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