FGCU alum killed in Mexico gas explosion

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FORT MYERS, Fla. – Florida Gulf Coast University is mourning the loss of a well-known alum who was killed in a gas explosion in Mexico.

Every college has that student that everyone knows; the one who is dedicated to their school work, a member of several clubs, and eager to meet every person on campus. For FGCU, that person was 22-year-old Rebeca Olivera.

“She never met a stranger and everyone just loved her and she was just enticing and you just wanted to be her and be her friend and get to know her,” said Nicole Horton, Olivera’s former roommate. The two met when they joined the Phi Mu sorority.

Rebeca graduated from FGCU this past spring and started working on her Masters degree in Environmental Engineering at the University of Monterrey in Mexico.

“She really had a passion for water and like helping people in other countries to get clean water,” Gabriela Rivera, another roommate, said.

 “Did she have the potential to fix it? Yeah, that’s a fact,” said Juan Diaz, Rebeca’s friend.
Sadly, her friends say that on Wednesday she was in a tragic accident.
According to media outlets in Mexico, there was a gas leak in her apartment which caused an explosion.

“There was a fire and she got really badly burned,” Horton explained.

Firefighters were able to get her out of the room. She was taken to the hospital with severe burns, but died on Saturday morning.

“I didn’t know how to take it. I was more in shock than anything,” Diaz said.

The news spread quickly on social media. Groups she had been apart of all shared memories and photos of her, proving that she left an impact on the entire campus at FGCU.

“I feel like that’s why this community was affected so greatly is because she was just that kind of person,” Rivera said.

There will be a vigil for Rebeca on Monday night at the North Lake Tiki Hut at 7 p.m.


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