UPDATE: Fourth victim dies after maquila explosion in Juarez
POSTED: Friday, October 25, 2013 - 5:10pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, October 30, 2013 - 6:05am
Cd. Juarez, Mexico (KTSM) — UPDATE: The fourth death after the maquila explosion in Juarez has been confirmed. Juan Garcia Colohua 34, died at the Medical Center in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Garcia Colohua was transported to Guadalajara among other 2 workers in critical condition for special medical treatment.
UPDATE: Hospital officials confirmed the death of the third victim of the Blueberry maquila explosion. Jorge Lopez Gonzalez 41, died today after suffering severe injuries and burns during Thursday's explosion.
Three workers were transported to a medical center in Guadalajara, Mexico today for medical treatment.
UPDATE: Chihuahua State Police confirmed the identity of one of the workers who died at the explosion in a Juarez maquiladora. Miguel de la Torre, 20, was the first victim of the explosion at the Blueberry Candy Factory.
Authorities performed a DNC test and his mother Rosario de la Torre identified his remains.
Miguel de la Torre was married and had two kids.
ORIGINAL: The nightmare continues for some survivors in critical condition and their families in Juarez after the massive explosion that left more than 50 injured and at least 2 deaths.
Dozens of families waited for hours in local hospitals to hear about the health status of their loved ones.
"We are just asking they take responsibility for this because nobody from the company has come forward to offer help," a desperate victim’s wife said.
According to state authorities an investigation is underway to determine who may be responsible for yesterday's explosion at the factory. Preliminary findings indicate that a candy cauldron next to several gas pipes may have caused the massive fire.
The explosion occurred in the 8th area of the Blueberry factory; some family member said work conditions in the maquila weren’t appropriate and safe.
"The factory wasn't a secure place to work actually there was a gas leak and that caused the accident," a family member said.
Chihuahua Governor Cesar Duarte visited the site and the hospital where victims are still being treated hours after the explosion. He said the state will pursue an investigation and that complete assistance will be offered to those affected.
"the costs of their treatment will be covered completely by the state of Chihuahua it's unfortunate this accident it hurts us to know the facts but I think the emergency response was appropriate," Duarte said.
But for these families everything changed in a matter of hours, some lost their loved ones forever and many are holding to their faith for the best.
"We feel so sad because my husband is in the hospital, a young teen just died I just hope my husband makes it, I'm praying to God but he is in a very critical state," a woman said.
Out of the 52 injured 15 remain in intensive care, governor Duarte added that some of them might be transferred to hospitals in the Houston area.
UPDATE: 10:00 a.m. Authorities confirmed the second death of the blueberry tragedy ; worker Ivan Vazquez died in the hospital several hours ago.
UPDATE 11:00 p.m.
Governor of Chihuahua Cesar Duarte has announced some of the severely injured will be transported to hospitals in Galveston, Texas.
UPDATE 10:30 p.m.
It was a tragic day for employees at Blueberry Candy Factory and their families in Ciudad Juarez. A massive explosion left at least one dead, 52 employees injured and 11 in critical condition.
"They told me some people were trapped but we don't know right now they're counting the people that were inside I don't know if someone else is missing" eyewitness Juan Hernandez said.
According to witnesses, the explosion happened after a boiler collapsed in one of the work areas. Police said 40 employees were working there.
Juarez Mayor Enrique Serrano arrived at the explosion site moments after it happened. He said the city will provide medical assistance for the families and a investigation will begin immediately.
"We have to make sure that no one is still inside the building that's what we're working on and making sure we know what happened" Juarez Mayor Enrique Serrano said.
Governor of Chihuahua Cesar Duarte arrived hours later to view the damages and visit the injured at the hospital.
One desperate mother waited for hours to hear news about her son, like so many others who cried and hoped for a miracle.
"What's happening there? They're taking bodies out. My son is missing. Nobody is giving me information and he's not in any hospital. We need to know what's happening," the woman said.
It is expected that the candy factory will post a link of those missing victims and fatalities.
Authorities of the State of Chihuahua issued an investigative order to determine responsabilities. Rescue crews are still on scene in the search of victims.
An explosion was reported at the Blueberry maquiladora in Juarez located at Calle Magneto No. 1810 in the "Benito Juarez" Industrial Park area at approximately 1:30 p.m. Thursday afternoon.
A boiler allegedly exploded, causing the second floor of the building to collapse. Officials on scene confirm that one person is dead, and estimate 40 seriously injured. Some victims are still trapped in rubble and authorities fear there may be bodies located within the building as well.
The Mexican Army and Federal Police are on location, along with Juarez Mayor Enrique Serrano and the Juarez medical examiner. There are approximately 30 fire vehicles and ambulances still transporting victims to area hospitals from the scene. Family members have gathered and are seen crying outside of the exclusion zone.
The Chihuahua state government tweeted (translation) "We regret the incident happened in maquiladora # CdJuárez; relief units are moving wounded to hospitals. We are ready to attend to the needs of those affected in this incident, providing the necessary assistance."
The factory employs about 300 workers in the area where the incident occurred. There has been no official word on how many of those were inside the building at the time of the explosion.
A News Channel 9 crew is on the scene and will update as more information becomes available.