Hotel blast in Mexico kills five Canadians

by Alfie FEATHERSTONE on November 15, 2010

Seven are dead after an explosion at the Grand Riviera Princess hotel killed five Canadian tourists and another two hotel staff members.

The luxury hotel, which sits off of Mexico’s Caribbean coast, is believed to have exploded after a build-up of natural gas turned the property into a ticking time bomb. Windows blew out and 15 people were injured at the 676-room property.

Located in a region known as Maya Riviera, around 90kms from Cancun, the hotel was host to droves of Canadian visitors enjoying the ocean while on holiday. Among the dead is one child.

Two Canadians are reportedly in critical condition and others, less seriously injured, include Mexican hotel workers and two US citizens.

State prosecutor Francisco Alor said that the ground floor at the hotel was sent through the ceiling by sheer force as the natural gas caused the massive blast. He told local news outlets that investigations had begun to discover if the hotel had been properly built. The hotel’s foundations sit on a swampy area near the beach.

Mr Alor added that preliminary reports have concluded that the blast was due to organic material beneath the soil accumulating into dangerous gases. Expert examiners have been brought in to access the situation.  Pete Travers, a guest at the hotel, said that blood and glass were everywhere amidst the chaos.

The hotel has been cordoned off by Mexican officials as the army and police investigate the damage further.

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