June 19, 2013 / 3:23 AM / 6 years ago

Mexican oil producer Pemex evacuates headquarters after bomb threat

Presidential guards stand in front a black ribbon after a tribute for the victims of an explosion at the headquarters of the state oil monopoly Pemex in Mexico City February 8, 2013. REUTERS/Tomas Bravo

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico’s state oil producer, Pemex, said on Tuesday it had evacuated its Mexico City headquarters, the site of a deadly explosion in January, after a bomb threat.

“In the face of the threat, we’re applying security measures at the Pemex tower in Mexico City,” Pemex said in a tweet around 8:48 p.m. (0148 GMT Wednesday).

A company spokesman confirmed there was a bomb threat and said there were very few people in the building at the time of the evacuation. Another Pemex spokeswoman could not immediately provide details on how the threat arrived.

In a separate tweet, Pemex said that authorities were inspecting the company’s installations in downtown Mexico City.

In January, a blast at the same facility killed at least 37 people. The government said a gas leak caused the explosion, although many Mexicans questioned the explanation, speculating it may have been caused by a bomb.

Mexico’s new government, which took office in December, is preparing to open up the state oil firm to private investment, which is a sensitive issue in Mexico.

Pemex has been a symbol of Mexican self-sufficiency since the oil industry was nationalized in 1938.

The government’s plans, details of which have yet to be unveiled, have prompted accusations that President Enrique Pena Nieto plans to privatize the company, which he has repeatedly denied.

Reporting by Gabriel Stargardter and Adriana Barrera; Writing by Gabriel Stargardter; Editing by Peter Cooney

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