REYNOSA, Mexico, Feb. 9 (UPI) — An gas explosion in Reynosa, Mexico, led to the discovery of a gang safe house where at least 60 Central American migrants were held hostage.
Five Guatemalan migrants sustained burn injuries in the explosion Monday. Three were hospitalized — two in serious condition — and identified as Domingo Mastum, 36; Pascual Izet Guachia, 31; and Angel Diego Valdo Chois, 16.
The explosion was the result of a leak which led to a large accumulation of natural gas.
At least 60 migrants fled the criminal safe house after the blast. One migrant told authorities most who were held hostage were Guatemalan and that they were taken prison more than a week ago.
Mexican police are conducting searches to find missing migrants who could be exploited by gangs and cartels as they attempt to reach the United States.
Reynosa is a border town near the city of McAllen, Texas. Mexican drug cartels and gangs often kidnap migrants to extract ransoms or to force them to join their ranks.