People stand near a destroyed area after an explosion at a hotel in Mexico on November 14, 2010. (Reuters)

Mexican authorities have opened a homicide inquiry into a hotel explosion that killed seven people, including five Canadians.

Canadians killed in Mexico blast

  • Darlene Ferguson, of Ardrossan, Alta.
  • Malcolm Johnson, 33, of Nanaimo, B.C.
  • Chris Charmont, 41, and his nine-year-old son John Charmont, of Drumheller, Alta.
  • Elgin Barron of Cambridge, Ont.

A prosecutor said the governor of the state of Quintana Roo has told him he can pursue criminal charges against the hotel owners if the explosion was caused by faulty construction.

Investigators are still trying to determine what caused the Nov. 14 explosion at the 676-room Grand Riviera Princess resort in Playa del Carmen.

In addition to the seven dead, the blast also injured 17 people.

Officials said the families of all the victims have either already filed, or plan to file, complaints of homicide, injury or damages. The complaints will be dealt with at one inquiry, which will also determine responsibility for the explosion.

Investigators have most recently suggested that a broken sewer line near the hotel may have played a part in the explosion. Investigators have apparently been backing off the initial theory that a buildup of swamp gas caused the blast.

With files from The Associated Press