VIDEO: More than two dozen injured in building explosion in Tijuana
The owner of the building, who declined to provide his name, told local media that there had been a similar explosion in the building a few years ago
May 18, 2023 8:32am
Updated: May 18, 2023 8:32am
More than two dozen individuals were injured in an explosion on Tuesday morning at a building in Tijuana, Mexico, miles away from the San Ysidro Port of Entry, local authorities said.
The explosion occurred at around 9:35 a.m. local time at the Blancas building in Tijuana’s East Zone. It is still unclear what caused the explosion.
Fire crews, the municipal police, civil protection, and the red cross responded to the scene to evacuate people from the building and rescue two who were left trapped inside. After about one hour and a half, firefighters were able to rescue one individual that was trapped in the basement. The victim suffered from first and second-degree burns. Firefighters continue to search for other buildings beneath the rubble.
At least 28 other individuals were injured—four with life-threatening injuries, six with moderate injuries, and 18 with minor injuries—according to the Tijuana Fire Department.
The owner of the building, who declined to provide his name, told local media that there had been a similar explosion in the building a few years ago. Authorities believe the cause of the explosion might have been due to gas accumulation, similar to the incident in 2018.
"The second location has an underground gas build-up. I can't tell you why; this is the second time this has happened to us. The disaster was four times bigger than [four] years ago," he said in Spanish.
A video of the explosion released later on Wednesday shows an SUV and a couple of people on the street when the powerful blast takes place. The shockwaves throw the people on the ground and debris can be seen everywhere. Slowly people started emerging from nearby buildings to see what was happening.
The Blancas building housed a print shop, a furniture store, a car detailing shop, and a spare parts store, as well as several apartments that were being illegally inhabited, according to the Tijuana Civil Protection Agency.
"The houses that were in the upper part were already red-tagged and the upper part should not be inhabited," Bernardo Villegas, director of Tijuana Civil Protection, said in Spanish. "I think that there was a repair of these houses and they rented them. All the people who were evacuated did not leave with injuries; [they] were outside the [explosion] area."