Seven dead, twenty injured in Mexican resort explosion

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Map of Mexico showing Playa del Carmen
Image: Mixcoatl.
Everyone said their hotel room shook. The glass at neighboring restaurants all cracked and blew out. The tiki hut that was in the area, that was on fire

—James Gaade

A gas explosion in the Grand Riviera Princess resort in Playa del Carmen, Mexico earlier today killed seven people and left 20 people injured, two critically according to local officials.

Francisco Alor, the attorney general of Quintana Roo, said that two hotel employees were among the dead. Five Canadian tourists were also killed in the blast, which created a large crater and broke windows. Alor said it is suspected that the explosion took place under the floor of the lobby.

Reports from guests say that the explosion occurred at about 9:30 a.m. local time (1530 UTC). News director of Canadian radio station 570 Pete Traves said, "People are visibly shaken and upset, as you can imagine." Traves witnessed hotel employees rushing around after the explosion helping injured guests. It was also reported the local hospital was bogged down with people.

Traves is at the resort with a group of 60 Canadians; they are staying in a wing of the hotel unaffected by the blast.