Several babies have been found alive in the rubble by rescue workers digging through concrete for survivors after a gas explosion ripped through a maternity and children’s hospital in Mexico City.
At least three people are feared dead and more than 70 people were injured when a gas truck exploded near the hospital on Thursday, where over 100 people were inside at the time.
One woman and two children are understood to be victims of the blast, according to Reuters. At least 70 people were injured, with nine children believed to among the 17 considered seriously hurt.
About 70 per cent of the hospital collapsed, officials said, and the priority was to continue digging in search of any trapped survivors.
Some of the injured were evacuated by helicopter, and aerial footage showed firefighters scrambling over the skeletal wreckage of the building.
Pope Francis called for prayers for those affected by the blast on his Spanish-language twitter account, writing: “Let us pray for the victims of the explosion at the hospital in Cuajimalpa, Mexico, and for family members that the Lord might grant them peace and strength.”
The explosion is believed to have occurred at 7.05am local time yesterday when a tanker truck was making a routine delivery of gas to the hospital kitchen and gas started to leak. Witnesses said the tanker workers struggled frantically for 15 or 20 minutes to repair the leak while a large cloud of gas formed.
"The hose broke. The two gas workers tried to stop it, but they were very nervous. They yelled for people to get out," said Laura Diaz Pacheco, a laboratory technician.
"Everyone's initial reaction was to go inside, away from the gas," she told the Associated Press. "Maybe as many as 10 of us were able to get out ... The rest stayed inside."Reuse content