Three arrested in deadly Mexico City hospital blast

A truck was supplying gas to the hospital when apparently a hose burst and the resulting leak caused an explosion.
A truck was supplying gas to the hospital when apparently a hose burst and the resulting leak caused an explosion.

By Catherine E. Shoichet, Mariano Castillo and Rafael Romo / CNN

A gas truck driver and two assistants were arrested Friday in connection with a deadly gas explosion that leveled part of a maternity hospital in Mexico City, killing at least three people and injuring dozens, authorities said.

The blast occurred at about 7 a.m. Thursday with more than 100 people inside Cuajimalpa Maternal Hospital — minutes after a hose burst on a truck supplying gas to the building.

Rescuers rushed from the rubble with babies in their arms. Paramedics hauled bloodied victims on stretchers.

The truck operator was identified as Julio César Martínez and his two assistants as Carlos Chavez and Salvador Alatorre, according to Rodolfo Rios Garza, a local attorney. The charges against them were not immediately available.

Two of the men in custody are hospitalized, and a third, with less serious injuries, was checked at a hospital.

http://edition.cnn.com/2015/01/30/world/mexico-explosion/

Dam project shines light on little-known U.S. agency

AP – When the U.S. government backed construction of a new hydroelectric plant in southwestern Mexico, residents rose up and defeated a three-year, $30 million project supported by the little-known Overseas Private Investment Corp.

The fight opened a window into the impacts that residents sometimes encounter in developments backed by OPIC, a U.S. government agency with a low profile but global mission.

http://www.usnews.com/news/politics/articles/2015/01/30/us-backed-mexico-dam-project-triggered-protest-rare-defeat

Gas explosion shatters Mexico City maternity, children’s hospital

A gas refueling truck exploded outside a maternity and children’s hospital in Mexico City on Thursday, killing two people, one of them a newborn baby, and leaving dozens injured. (Rebecca Blackwell/Associated Press)
A gas refueling truck exploded outside a maternity and children’s hospital in Mexico City on Thursday, killing two people, one of them a newborn baby, and leaving dozens injured. (Rebecca Blackwell/Associated Press)

By JUAN MONTES / Wall Street Journal

A powerful gas explosion shattered a maternity and children’s hospital on the western edge of Mexico City on Thursday, killing at least two people and injuring dozens of others, authorities said.

Hundreds of firefighters, police and volunteers scrambled to find survivors trapped under debris after the blast.

An apparent leak in the hose of a tanker truck delivering propane gas to the kitchen area of the hospital caused the explosion, officials said, leveling a large part of the building. At least 70 percent of the hospital was damaged by the blast.

The explosion happened around 7:15 a.m. local time at the hospital operated by the Mexico City government, sending a column of smoke billowing over the area.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/gas-truck-explodes-outside-mexico-city-maternity-childrens-hospital-1422542446

Comerci to sell 160 stores to Soriana for $2.7 billion

Soriana said the new stores would lift its total sales by 37 percent.
Soriana said the new stores would lift its total sales by 37 percent.

Reuters

Mexican supermarket chain Comercial Mexicana has agreed to sell most of its stores to its rival Soriana for 39.19 billion pesos ($2.66 billion), the two companies said on Wednesday.

Comercial Mexicana, known locally as Comerci, said the sale of 160 stores, including the low-price Mega and Bodega Comercial Mexicana formats, will allow it to focus on its other brands where it sees greater growth opportunities.

Comerci, which first said it was exploring a sale in January 2014, will be left with just 40 stores. It will keep its upmarket, higher-margin retail formats such as City Market, and some other assets that contribute around 22 percent of its revenue.

It will spin off those assets into a new company, allowing Soriana to make an offer to buy the rest of Comerci, subject to competition and stock exchange approvals.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/01/29/organiza-soriana-controladora-com-idUSL1N0V808720150129