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Dublin: 2°C Monday 29 November 2021
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Seven die in Mexican hotel explosion

Five Canadian tourists and two locals are killed in an expected gas explosion on the Caribbean coast.

The lobby of a bulding at the Grand Riviera Princess hotel, where underground gases ignited in a large explosion last night.
The lobby of a bulding at the Grand Riviera Princess hotel, where underground gases ignited in a large explosion last night.
Image: PA

FIVE CANADIAN TOURISTS and two local staff members have been killed in a suspected gas explosion in the Mexican resort of Playa del Carmen, on the country’s Caribbean coast.

The luxury Grand Riviera Princess Hotel, just south of Cancun, was struck by the blast in the early hours, with residents in the 676-room hotel saying their rooms had shaken violently.

Rather than a leak of heating gas, however, it is believed that the explosion was caused by the igniting of gases from a nearby swamp that had built up underneath one of the hotel’s dozen or so buildings.

Local reports suggested the gases were produced by “decomposing organic material in the subsoil”, and it was this gas that had ignited.

The explosion struck with such force, the Guardian reports, that the ground floor of the affected building has been left with a crater a full metre deep, while fragments of its ceiling were blown across a 50 metre area.

Two of the dead, according to Canada’s Calgary Herald, were father Chris Charmont and his nine-year-old son John. Canadian consular officials, Sky News adds, have arrived on the scene to assist the families of the bereaved.

Up to a dozen US citizens and more Mexican staff are understood to have been injured.

About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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