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Two Americans injured in Tulum condo gas explosion die

Tulum, Q.R. — Two Americans who were severely injured when their Tulum condo exploded have died. The man and woman had recently purchased the condo and had arrived the day before to furnish it.

Maricela “C” and her husband Gabriel “N”, both from Grand Prarie, Texas, died in a Mexico City hospital from injuries sustained when their bottom floor unit exploded.

Both suffered extensive third degree burns. They were taken to a Tulum hospital but quickly transferred to Playa del Carmen. However, due to the extent of their injuries, both were transferred to a hospital in Mexico City.

Maricela “C” died from her injuries on November 24. According to her family, she suffered third degree burns to 85 percent of her body. Her husband Gabriel “N” died on November 29 after suffering third degree burns to 98 percent of his body.

LP gas has been the said cause of the explosion. It is not known if there was a leak or if an unlit appliance went unnoticed.

Emergency bodies are at the scene of the accident that killed the two American condo owners.
Photo: Dirección General de Proteccion Civil y Bomberos Tulum November 18, 2023.

Clarabeth Hernandez, legal representative of the family, has been quoted as telling a US publication that unfortunately, in Mexico explosions like this are not uncommon — especially in high tourist areas like Tulum where there is a lot of new developments.

“Unfortunately, we see a lot of shoddy work and so for that reason, you’ll have explosions because of gas lines or whatever the reason may be,” Hernandez is quoted as saying.

According to the report, Hernandez says there were warning signs. After the explosion, the owners of Selva Norte, where it happened, held a Zoom meeting with residents. Several of them said they complained about gas leaking. The next day the explosion happened.

“They knew of a gas leak, they did nothing about it, and then the explosion happened. It was forcible,” Hernandez is quoted as saying.

Hernandez has filed a lawsuit.

“Personal injury is almost nonexistent in Mexico. Save for except a few situations, this may be one of them where the developers are going to be held liable criminally,” said Hernandez.

Tulum firemen inspect the bottom floor unit that exploded. Furniture, glass windows and doors were all blown to the outside of the condo. Photo: Dirección General de Proteccion Civil y Bomberos Tulum November 18, 2023.

The LP gas explosion happened early on the morning of November 18 inside a bottom floor condo unit. The powerful explosion inside the main floor apartment left it completely destroyed. All the windows and doors were blown out as was most of the stationary furniture inside the unit.