Homicide probe launched into blast

Mexican officials have launched a homicide investigation into the explosion at a Playa Del Carmen resort that killed five Canadians.

Workers survey the damage caused by an explosion at the Grand Princess Riviera Hotel in Playa del Carmen

Workers survey the damage caused by an explosion at the Grand Princess Riviera Hotel in Playa del Carmen

PLAYA DEL CARMEN,, Mexico — Mexican officials have launched a homicide investigation into the explosion at a Playa Del Carmen resort that killed five Canadians.

They say they want to determine whether negligence led to the blast at the Grand Riviera Princess Hotel on Sunday morning.

The explosion also killed two Mexican citizens and wounded six Canadians who were near an exclusive part of the resort that costs extra.

Adrien Cardena, a spokesman at the Quintana Roo state prosecutor’s office told The Canadian Press that homicide charges are possible against whoever is determined to be responsible.

He said the investigation will look at whether faulty construction or lax maintenance led to an accumulation of gas, which is believed to be the cause of the explosion.

Engineers, architects and scientists are all part of the team examining what happened, Cardena added.

He said it could take between two weeks and a month for the results.

The explosion blew out windows in a lounge area and left behind a metre-deep crater, littering the lawn with concrete and debris.

Soon after the explosion Sunday, officials said they thought the blast was caused by a buildup of gas from a nearby swamp.

Later, they said they believed a broken sewer line may have caused methane gas to build up.

The Canadians killed were Malcolm Johnson of Prince George, B.C., Chris Charmont and his nine-year-old son John of Drumheller, Alta., Darlene Ferguson of Edmonton and Elgin Barron of Guelph, Ont.

A hotel bartender and a guard also died.

Earlier this week, Jesus Puc, the director of the civil protection agency, requested new methane-detecting equipment to check other hotels in the area.

He said no gas was detected in an inspection of the Grand Riviera Princess four or five months ago, but the inspectors’ equipment was designed to sense cooking gas.

Prosecutor Francisco Alor Quezada said earlier this week that the state was pursuing legal action against hotel management, saying they tried to bar entry to him and other investigators immediately following the explosion.

The army eventually accompanied them onto the grounds.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Education Minister Adriana LaGrange says she has not received an official request from any other school board for a similar move to online learning. (Advocate file photo)
’Operational pressures:’ Calgary schools shift to at-home learning for grades 7 to 12

School boards can ask to move online for a number of reasons

Russian President Vladimir Putin visits the Coordination Center of the Russian Government in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, April 13, 2021. The centre was set up as a line of communication with the whole of Russia for analysing and collecting information, promptly using big data and solving arising problems. (Mikhail Metzel, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)
Months after hack, US poised to announce sanctions on Russia

First retaliatory action against the Kremlin for last year’s hack

FILE - NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman speaks during the “Topping Off” ceremony of the New York Islanders new home, the UBS Arena at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y., Friday, Oct. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Mary Altaffer
Islanders close to selling out inaugural season at UBS Arena

Arena capacity of about 17,000 for hockey

An Uber Eats delivery person carries items near the Japan National Stadium, where opening ceremony and other events are planned for postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics, with engravings in honor of 1964 Tokyo Olympics seen on the side of the stadium wall behind the fence Tuesday, April 6, 2021, in Tokyo. Two top officials of Japan’s ruling LDP party on Thursday, April 15, 2021, said radical changes could be coming to the Tokyo Olympics. One went as far to suggest they still could be canceled, and the other that even if they proceed, it might be without any fans.(AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
Officials say Olympic cancellation, no fans still an option

COVID-19 cases have been rising across Japan

FILE - In this Jan. 24, 2020 file photo, co-directors Jim LeBrecht, left, and Nicole Newnham, center, from the documentary “Crip Camp” pose with film subject Judith Heumann during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. The disabled have a moment in the Oscar spotlight that they hope becomes a movement. LeBrecht, who has spina bifida and uses a wheelchair, says a golden age for disabled films could come if Hollywood lets them tell their own stories. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)
The disabled hope their Oscar moment can become a movement

Traditionally the disabled appear only when an actor seeking an Oscar-worthy role plays one on screen

FILE - Diane Warren poses for a portrait at the 90th Academy Awards Nominees Luncheon on Feb. 5, 2018, in Beverly Hills, Calif. Warren is nominated for an Oscar for best original song for her work in “The Life Ahead” starring Sophia Loren. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)
12-time Oscar nominee Diane Warren hopes for ‘awesome’ win

Third movie adaptation of the 1975 Romain Gary novel ‘The Life Before Us’

opinion
Opinion: Waiting 4 months between vaccine doses too long

“It’s not just a matter of potency, it’s a matter of the… Continue reading

Richie Laryea of Toronto FC, left, and Jean Meneses of Mexico's Leon battle for the ball during a CONCACAF Champions League soccer match in Leon, Mexico, in Leon, Wednesday, April 7, 2021. Toronto FC hosts Club Leon in the second leg of their Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League round-of-16 tie holding a valuable away goal after a 1-1 draw last week in Mexico. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Mario Armas
Injury-riddled Toronto FC dispatches Club Leon in CONCACAF Champions League play

Injury-riddled Toronto FC dispatches Club Leon in CONCACAF Champions League play

Winnipeg Jets' Dylan DeMelo (2) skates the puck around Ottawa Senators' Thomas Chabot (72) as he holds off Winnipeg Jets' Mason Appleton (22) during first-period NHL action in Ottawa on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Winnipeg Jets score two third-period goals to secure 3-2 victory over Ottawa Senators

Winnipeg Jets score two third-period goals to secure 3-2 victory over Ottawa Senators

Toronto Raptors forward Chris Boucher (25) shoots over San Antonio Spurs forward Keldon Johnson (3) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, April 14, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Anunoby, Siakam rally Raptors past Spurs 117-112

Anunoby, Siakam rally Raptors past Spurs 117-112

Most Read