1992 Guadalajara explosions

1992 Guadalajara explosions

Location of Guadalajara
Time 10:05 - 11:16 (UTC-6)
Date April 22, 1992
Location Analco, Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico
Also known as Guadalajara gas explosion
Deaths 206
Non-fatal injuries 500+
Property damage thousands of homes affected
Convictions 4 Pemex officials charged for negligence

A series of ten explosions took place on April 22, 1992, in the downtown district of Analco Colonia Atlas in Guadalajara city, Jalisco state, Mexico. Numerous gas explosions in the sewer system over four hours destroyed 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) of streets.[1] Gante Street was the most damaged. By the accounting of Lloyd's of London, the reported number of people killed was about 252 people although many estimate that the catastrophe actually caused at least 1000 deaths.[2] About 500 to 600 missing,[3] nearly 500 injured and 15,000 were left homeless. The estimated monetary damage ranges between $300 million and $1 billion. The affected areas can be recognized by the more modern architecture in the areas that were destroyed.[4]

Four days before the explosion, residents started complaining of a strong gas-like smell coming from the sewers which became progressively more pungent over the course of those days. They were experiencing symptoms such as stinging in their eyes and throats and nausea.[5] Some residents even found gas coming out of their water pipes. City workers were dispatched to check the sewers and found dangerously high levels of gas fumes. However, the city mayor did not feel it was necessary to evacuate the city because he felt that there was no risk of an explosion.[6]

Chronology of events

Before the explosions:

After the explosions:


An investigation into the disaster found that there were two precipitating causes:


In the aftermath, city officials and corporations pointed fingers at each other. Some people initially thought a cooking oil manufacturing company was leaking hexane, a flammable liquid similar to (and a component of) gasoline, into the sewers, but this was later found to be erroneous. Numerous arrests were made in an attempt to indict those responsible for the blasts.[7] Four Pemex officials were indicted and charged, on the basis of negligence. Ultimately, however, these people were cleared of all charges.[8]

Many of the survivors that were affected by the explosions started a group called "La Asociacion 22 de Abril en Guadalajara"(the association of April 22 of Guadalajara).[9] This campaign was started by a survivor of the explosions named Lilia Ruiz Chávez, who as a result of the explosions lost her leg as well as her home. She started the group that has a total of 80 members not only because no one was convicted of this preventable incident but also because the victims of this tragedy were not receiving any compensation or assistance due to injuries sustained or loss as a result of the accident. The victims of this tragedy not only lost their homes but also their health and many lost loved ones as well. Although they are aware that no amount of money will bring back their relatives as states Chavez, the tragedy left them unable to care for themselves let alone afford their medication as a consequence of the incident. Chavez as well as the other survivors have been fighting for 24 years now for justice to be served. Because of the constant struggle and pressure from the victims toward Pemex, the company that was initially blamed for the incident, finally agreed to pay out 40 million pesos to the group. Although Pemex claims this is a donation and no way does it mean they are taking blame for the incident.

See also


  1. Kreimer, Alcira (1999). Managing Disaster Risk in Mexico: Market Incentives for Mitigation Investment. World Bank Publications. p. 44. ISBN 9780821344910.
  2. "Explosion of hydrocarbons in an urban sewerage network" (PDF). December 2007. Retrieved October 26, 2016.
  3. "Explosion of hydrocarbons in an urban sewerage network" (PDF). Retrieved October 26, 2016.
  4. Peter Eisner (April 28, 1992). "Nine officials charged in sewer-line explosions case". The Tech. Tech.mit.edu. Retrieved 2014-04-20.
  5. "Sewers explode in Guadalajara - Apr 22, 1992 - HISTORY.com". HISTORY.com. Retrieved 2016-10-26.
  6. "The Guadalajara 1992 Sewer Gas Explosion Disaster". SEMP Biot #356. Semp.us. May 3, 2006. Archived from the original on February 10, 2009. Retrieved 2015-12-07.
  7. "Maria Estela Acosta Hernandez et. al. v. Mexico". University of Minnesota. February 20, 2003. Retrieved 2014-04-20.
  8. "Pemex Is Blamed for The Sewer Explosion". Time. Time.com. 1992-05-11. Retrieved 2014-04-20.(subscription required)
  9. "Niega Lilia Ruiz abusos contra afectados del 22 de abril | Página 24 Jalisco". pagina24jalisco.com.mx. Retrieved 2016-10-26.

External links

Coordinates: 20°40′17″N 103°21′23″W / 20.67139°N 103.35639°W / 20.67139; -103.35639

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