Worn out bolts blamed for Mexico City hospital blast

Patient Safety Monitor Insider

February 18, 2015

The explosion that demolished a Mexico City children’s hospital January 29, killing 5 and injuring dozens was caused by two worn-out bolts that cracked, causing a gasket to blow out partially, according to a report from NBC News.

The report cited Mexico City officials, who said one of the bolts was the wrong size, and that the truck’s meter had been altered to shortchange customers. In addition, the report said that wire and Teflon tape had been improperly used on parts of the truck’s valves.

The leak that followed allowed the gas to seep out into the neighborhood, and set off the fire and explosion. According to the report, a Mexican gas company that provides propane gas to 31 hospitals in the Mexican capital could face homicide charges and a $2.9 million fine for poor maintenance of the truck.

A tanker truck that was reportedly delivering liquid petroleum gas to the kitchen area at Cuajimalpa Hospital, a maternal and children’s hospital on the outskirts of the city suddenly exploded at about 7 a.m., leveling about 60 percent of the hospital and killing five people and injuring dozens of the 100 or more people inside the facility.