Guillermo Gutierrez / AP

Firefighters and other workers dig for survivors Thursday, Jan. 31, after an explosion at the executive tower of Mexico’s state-owned oil company, Pemex, in Mexico City.

By Kari Huus, Staff writer, NBC News

A powerful explosion in the Mexico City skyscraper complex housing the headquarters of state oil monopoly Pemex killed at least 14 people and injured at least 100 others, company and government officials said.

News of the casualties came from Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong, who spoke to Mexican television reporters after rushing to the scene. He said the death toll could rise, and by mid-evening,,the newspaper El Universal was citing official sources as saying at least 20 people had been killed.

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto arrived at the Pemex administration complex by helicopter Thursday evening to supervise rescue operations, the news agency La Prensa reported. Hundreds of Mexican military forces were sent to the complex to “preserve security,” officials told El Universal.

The explosion took place in the basement garage of the auxiliary building of the Petrõleos Mexicanos complex, next to the company’s 52-floor tower in a busy commercial and residential area, according to Eduardo Sanchez, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry.

“Right now, they’re conducting a tour of the building and the area adjacent to the blast site to verify if there are any still trapped so they can be rescued immediately,” Sanchez said.

There were reports that as many as 30 people remained trapped in the debris from the blast, but NBC News hasn’t confirmed that information. Search-and-rescue dogs were sent into the skyscraper.

The main floor and the mezzanine of the auxiliary building were heavily damaged, along with windows as far as three floors up. The adjacent Pemex officer tower, where several thousand people work, was evacuated.

The ceiling of the basement was damaged, and the situation was dangerous, Reuters said, quoting a spokesman for local emergency services.

News of the blast came toward the end of the business day — just a few hours after the company had tweeted a message celebrating how much it had “reduced our accident rate in recent years”:

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