22 die in explosions at Mexico City nightclub

At least 22 people died and 24 were injured when fire ripped through one of Mexico City's cavernous discos in the early hours of yesterday. At mid-morning fire crews were still searching for bodies - many victims were trampled to death. Rush hour traffic was tailed back for miles through the city.

At least 22 people died and 24 were injured when fire ripped through one of Mexico City's cavernous discos in the early hours of yesterday. At mid-morning fire crews were still searching for bodies - many victims were trampled to death. Rush hour traffic was tailed back for miles through the city.

Faulty propane gas canisters are initially suspected to have caused the blaze after witnesses at the Lobohombo reported hearing several explosions shortly after 5am, an hour after the celebrity hangout normally shuts.

With its mirrored facade and strategic location at the intersection of Insurgentes Avenue, the world's longest street, and Paseo de la Reforma, the city's main thoroughfare, Lobohombo is one of the best known after-hours clubs in the city. Thursday night is traditionally one of the busiest for well-heeled sybarites, who head out of town for the weekend. Fiery cocktails called cucarachas (cockroaches) - a mix of tequila and flaming coffee liqueur - are a favourite drink there.

Maria Inez Munoz, a spokeswoman for Cuauhtemoc borough where the club is located, said officials had tried to close it earlier this year because table dancers were performing without a permit.

The owner, Alejandro Iglesias Rebollo, obtained a federal injunction to keep it open. Victor Trejo Sanchez, his legal counsel, said city officials had inspected Lobohombo in July.

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