Anguish And Anger In Guadalajara

We told you! We called you! You never paid any attention to us!

RESIDENTS THROUGHOUT THE REFORMA DISTRICT OF Guadalajara, Mexico, had complained bitterly last Tuesday about the strong smell, like gasoline's, that was wafting up from the sewers. City officials could not find any leak, however, and called off their investigation just hours before a series of explosions ripped up the streets Wednesday morning. More than 200 people died, and 15,000 others lost their homes.

Such accidents are sometimes caused by an industrial plant's indiscriminate dumping of flammable waste products into the sewage system. Investigators in Guadalajara quickly focused on two possible culprits: a cooking-oil factory and a state-run petroleum facility.

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