Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 8th 2013 Contents A33
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MEXICO CITY---A natural gas tanker
truck lost control, hit a centre divider and
exploded on a highway lined by homes in
the Mexico City suburb of Ecatepec early
yesterday, killing at least 20 people and in-
juring nearly three dozen, according to the
Citizen Safety Department of Mexico State.
Officials did not rule out the possibility
the death toll could rise as emergency
workers continued sifting through the
charred remains of vehicles and homes
built near the highway.
The 5.30 am explosion, crushed and
burned cars and shattered homes.
A huge piece of the truck's gas tank was
blown 50 yards by the force of the blast,
landing atop the wall of a house and cars
parked outside. A number of pigs and other
farm animals that were kept on patios were
A 15-year-old, Wendy Garrido, who was
pregnant, was forced to give birth after the
explosion, she said.
The driver, Juan Olivares, 36, was heading
to Mexico City from Pachuca in a tractor
hauling two gas tanks that belonged to a
company called Termogas, said Jose Luis
Cervantes, assistant prosecutor for the
state of Mexico. Cervantes said the tractor
hit a centre divider and broke apart, with
one tank flying into a house and exploding,
killing 15 people, and another part of a tank
hitting a separate house, killing four.
Cervantes said the driver may face
manslaughter and property damage
20 dead in gas tanker explosion near Mexico City
CLEVELAND---Three women who
disappeared separately about a
decade ago --- and the child of one
of them --- were found in a home
in Cleveland and likely had been
tied up during years of captivity,
authorities said yesterday. Police
arrested the man who owns the
home and his two brothers.
Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and
Michelle Knight were apparently
held captive in the house since they
were in their teens or early 20s, police
said. The women appeared to be in
good health and were taken to a hos-
pital to be evaluated and to reunite
with relatives. They were later
A six-year-old girl also was found
in the home, and police said the
child is believed to be Berry s daugh-
ter.The women were discovered after
Berry escaped from the house and
made a frantic telephone call to
emergency services from a neigh-
bour s home and told the dispatcher
that she had been abducted.
"I ve been kidnapped, and I ve
been missing for 10 years," she said.
"And I m here. I m free now."
Authorities said Knight disap-
peared in 2002 at age 20 and is 32
now. Berry, now 27, disappeared at
age 16 on April 21, 2003, when she
called her sister to say she was get-
ting a ride home from her job at a
Burger King. About a year later, DeJe-
sus vanished at age 14 on her way
home from school.
They were found just a few miles
from where they disappeared.
A photo released by Berry s family
showed her smiling with an arm
around her sister. All three women
were released from Metro Health
Medical Center yesterday morning.
Police said they were taken to an
undisclosed location in the suburbs.
Police identified the three suspects
as Ariel Castro, 52; Pedro Castro,
54; and Onil Castro, 50. Former
school bus driver Ariel Castro owned
the home, which is situated in a
neighbourhood dotted with board-
ed-up older homes. No immediate
charges were brought against them.
Two neighbours said they were
alarmed enough by what they saw
at the house to call police on two
Elsie Cintron said her daughter
once saw a naked woman crawling
on her hands and knees in the back-
yard several years ago and called
police. "But they didn t take it seri-
ously," she said.
Israel Lugo said he heard pounding
on some of the doors of Castro s
house, which had plastic bags on
the windows, in November 2011.
Lugo said officers knocked on the
front door, but no one answered.
"They walked to side of the house
and then left," he said.
Neighbours also said they would
see Castro sometimes walking a little
girl to a playground. And Cintron
said she once saw a little girl looking
out of the attic window of the house.
The women s escape and rescue
began with a frenzied cry for help.
A neighbour, Charles Ramsey, told
WEWS-TV he heard screaming
Monday and saw Berry, whom he
didn t recognise, at a door that would
open only enough to fit a hand
through. He said she was trying des-
perately to get outside and pleaded
for help to reach police.
Neighbor Anna Tejeda was sitting
on her porch with friends when they
heard someone across the street
kicking a door and yelling. Tejeda
said one of her friends went over
and told Berry how to kick the screen
out of the bottom of the door, which
allowed her to crawl out.
Tejeda said Berry, dressed in paja-
mas and old sandals, was nervous
At first Tejeda said she didn t want
to believe who the young woman
was. "You re not Amanda Berry," she
insisted. "Amanda Berry is dead."
But when Berry told her she had
been kidnapped and held captive,
Tejeda said, she gave the young
woman a telephone to call police.
A sign outside the home of DeJe-
sus parents read "Welcome Home
Police did go to the house twice
in the past 15 years, officials said.
In 2000, before the women van-
ished, Ariel Castro reported a fight
in the street, but no arrests were
In 2004, officers went to the
home after child welfare officials
alerted them that Ariel Castro, a
school bus driver, had apparently
left a child unattended on a bus,
Flask said. At some point in the
investigation, police talked to Castro
and determined there was no crim-
Berry s mother, Louwana Miller,
died in 2006. (AP)
3 missing US women rescued
'Nightmare is over'
This undated combination photo released by the Cleveland Police
Department shows from left, Onil Castro, Ariel Castro, and Pedro Castro.
Georgina "Gina" Dejesus. AP PHOTO
Amanda Berry, right, hugs her
sister Beth Serrano after
being reunited in a Cleveland
hospital yesterday. AP PHOTO
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