Mexico City Explosion Kills 25, Leaves 100 Others Wounded

25 people died and at least 100 others were injured when a great explosion at the the headquarters of Pemex, in Mexico City occurred.

The explosion was reported to be in the basement garage of the auxiliary building, a busy commercial and residential area just before 4 p.m and next to Petroleos Mexicanos’ 52-story tower. The skyscraper complex was immediately visited by Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto to supervise rescue activities.

Picture: NY Daily News.

At least 30 people remained trapped in the debris while rescue dogs were sent to look for them. “It shook the building, and then we were evacuated”, said a man who was on the ground floor.

“An explosion took place in the B2 building of the administrative center,”/”Regrettably, they have confirmed 14 people dead and 80 injured.”, Pemex tweeted yesterday. Today, Mexican authorities confirmed 25 people dead and 101 other were injured.

Pemex first said they were evacuating because there was an electricity problem, then it said there was an explosion but the problem was not determined.

Picture: Canberra Times.

Most of the people injured were treated at local hospitals with broken bones, sources said.

Director General of Pemex, Emilio Lozoya Austin extended his condolences to all the families of the workers who have lost their loved ones at this accident.

Noe I, Windows of the World.

Three People Died, One Injured At Shooting In Central Florida

Four women have been shot, one of them is still alive after a man opened fire at ‘Las Dominicanas’; a hair salon in Central Florida. The man left the place and then shot himself at a nearby home, police said.

The man went into the building and started shooting. Three of the women were fatally shot and the fourth victim was taken to an hospital in the area. Her condition is unknown yet.

The identities of the victims and gunman have not been revealed yet.

Noe I. for Windows of the World

One World Trade Center To Become New York’s Tallest Building Tomorrow Monday April 30

One World Trade Center, the giant monolith being built to replace the twin towers destroyed in the Sept. 11 attacks, will lay claim to the title of New York City’s tallest skyscraper on Monday. Workers will erect steel columns that will make its unfinished skeleton a little over 1,250 feet high, just enough to peak over the roof of the observation deck on the Empire State Building.

The milestone is a preliminary one. Workers are still adding floors to the so-called “Freedom Tower” and it isn’t expected to reach its full height for at least another year, at which point it is likely to be declared the tallest building in the U.S., and third tallest in the world.

Those bragging rights, though, will carry an asterisk.

Crowning the world’s tallest buildings is a little like picking the heavyweight champion in boxing. There is often disagreement about who deserves the belt.

In this case, the issue involves the 408-foot-tall needle that will sit on the tower’s roof.

Count it, and the World Trade Center is back on top. Otherwise, it will have to settle for No. 2, after the Willis Tower in Chicago.

“Height is complicated,” said Nathaniel Hollister, a spokesman for The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitats, a Chicago-based organization considered an authority on such records.

Experts and architects have long disagreed about where to stop measuring super-tall buildings outfitted with masts, spires and antennas that extend far above the roof.

Consider the case of the Empire State Building: Measured from the sidewalk to the tip of its needle-like antenna, the granddaddy of all super-tall skyscrapers actually stands 1,454 feet high, well above the mark being surpassed by One World Trade Center on Monday.

Purists, though, say antennas shouldn’t count when determining building height.

An antenna, they say, is more like furniture than a piece of architecture. Like a chair sitting on a rooftop, an antenna can be attached or removed. The Empire State Building didn’t even get its distinctive antenna until 1952. The record books, as the argument goes, shouldn’t change every time someone installs a new satellite dish.

Excluding the antenna brings the Empire State Building’s total height to 1,250 feet. That was still high enough to make the skyscraper the world’s tallest from 1931 until 1972.

From that height, the Empire State seems to tower over the second tallest completed building in New York, the Bank of America Tower.

Yet, in many record books, the two skyscrapers are separated by just 50 feet.

That’s because the tall, thin mast on top of the Bank of America building isn’t an antenna, but a decorative spire.

Unlike antennas, record-keepers like spires. It’s a tradition that harkens back to a time when the tallest buildings in many European cities were cathedrals. Groups like the Council on Tall Buildings, and Emporis, a building data provider in Germany, both count spires when measuring the total height of a building, even if that spire happens to look exactly like an antenna.

This quirk in the record books has benefited buildings like Chicago’s recently opened Trump International Hotel and Tower. It is routinely listed as being between 119 to 139 feet taller than the Empire State Building, thanks to the antenna-like mast that sits on its roof, even though the average person, looking at the two buildings side by side, would probably judge the New York skyscraper to be taller.

The same factors apply to measuring the height of One World Trade Center.

Designs call for the tower’s roof to stand at 1,368 feet – the same height as the north tower of the original World Trade Center. The building’s roof will be topped with a 408-foot, cable-stayed mast, making the total height of the structure a symbolic 1,776 feet.

So is that needle an antenna or a spire?

“Not sure,” wrote Steve Coleman, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the building.

The needle will, indeed, function as a broadcast antenna. It is described on the Port Authority’s website as an antenna. On the other hand, the structure will have more meat to it than your average antenna, with external cladding encasing the broadcast mast.

Without that spire, One World Trade Center would still be smaller than the Willis Tower in Chicago, formerly known as the Sears Tower, which tops out at 1,451 feet (not including its own antennas).

Debate over which of those buildings can truly claim to be the tallest in the U.S. has been raging for years on Internet message boards frequented by skyscraper enthusiasts.

As for the Council on Tall Buildings, it is leaning toward giving One World Trade the benefit of the doubt.

“This is something we have discussed with the architect,” Hollister said. “As we understand it, the needle is an architectural spire which happens to enclose an antenna. We would thus count it as part of the architectural height.”

See more pictures on ABC New York.

Read more from this story on News From The Associated Press.

Building Fire Forces Evacuations In Morningside Heights

A three-alarm fire in upper Manhattan burned through a large building early Sunday.

The fire started around 2:30 in a vacant seven story building on Morningside Avenue at West 122nd Street in Morningside Heights.

The fire appears to have started in the basement and then spread to the roof, officials said.

Residents in the building next door to the fire were evacuated.

More than 130 firefighters responded to the blaze.

Taken from WABC New York.

1 Dead In Harlem Building Collapse

One construction worker was killed and two were hospitalized after a collapse sent concrete slabs and bricks falling onto them at a work site on 130th Street Thursday.

A 1915 two-story warehouse was being demolished for a Columbia University expansion project, buildings department and FDNY officials said.

Workers on site had cut a structural beam, which is believed to have caused the site to become unstable, officials said. It wasn’t immediately clear to officials whether the cut beam was an error or intentional as part of the work.

Two of the victims were near each other and a third was 50 feet away. It took firefighters 45 minutes to burrow a tunnel through the debris and rescue the third man, the FDNY said.

Read the complete story on NBC New York

Could This $30 Million Green Tower Be The Future Of World Cities?

An office building that lasts 250 years with no monthly electricity or water bills? It may sound like an environmentalist’s pipe dream, but it will soon be a reality, say the builders of what they hope will be the biggest office tower in the nation that produces as much water and electricity as it consumes.

Currently rising from a pit in downtown Seattle, the $30 million, six-story “living building” is being spearheaded by Denis Hayes and Jason McLennan, who believe they can save the world one building at a time by reducing the massive energy appetites of modern cities.

“Eighty-two percent of Americans, and more than half of humanity, now live in cities — none of which have been designed for sustainability,” said Hayes, who in 1970 helped create Earth Day, which has developed into the planet’s unofficial holiday.

Hayes, 67, now heads the Bullitt Foundation, an environmental nonprofit that intends to practice what it preaches by moving into the building when it’s completed, currently planned for November. 

The the complete story on MSNBC.com