Read as much as you want on BostonGlobe.com, anywhere and anytime, for just 99¢.

Natural gas suspected in Mexico oil company blast

MEXICO CITY — A water-heating system may have leaked natural gas into a tunnel beneath the headquarters of Mexico’s national oil company for more than seven months before it was accidentally detonated by a maintenance crew’s lighting system, officials said Tuesday, adding fresh detail to the narrative of the petroleum giant’s worst disaster in a decade.

Mexico’s attorney general said Monday night that a buildup of an unspecified gas was responsible for the explosion that collapsed three floors of the administrative building in Petroleos Mexicanos’ Mexico City headquarters complex, killing 37 people. He indicated the gas could have been either natural gas, which is used to fuel water boilers, or methane.

Continue reading below

Assistant Attorney General Alfredo Castillo told reporters Tuesday morning that the likeliest source of the gas was a tunnel that ran beneath the devastated building and carried hot water from a natural-gas heating plant to the ­54-story central tower of the complex.

Loading comments...

You have reached the limit of 10 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week