Tuesday, December 20, 2016

 

At least 29 killed in explosions at Mexican fireworks market

At least 29 killed in explosions at Mexican fireworks market.

A string of explosions at a fireworks market in Mexico killed at least 29 people and injured more than 70 others, officials said Tuesday.

The explosions took place at the San Pablito fireworks market in Tultepec in the state of Mexico.

Twenty-six people died at the scene and three others died from their injuries in hospital, Eruviel Avila, governor of the State of Mexico said.

Three badly injured children were transported to the United States for treatment, he added.

Officials were investigating the cause of the explosion.

The market, located around 40 kilometres north of the capital Mexico City, had approximately 300 vendors and reportedly sold 80 per cent of all pyrotechnics in Mexico.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto wrote on Twitter: "My condolences to the relatives of those who lost their lives in this accident and my wishes for a speedy recovery for the injured."

Shooting flames and fireworks could be seen in a large cloud of smoke rising from the area in videos of the explosion.

The blast damaged nearby homes and soldiers evacuated buildings around the market.

Rescue personnel were searching the remains of the market stalls for buried victims and special police units were sent to Tultepec to assist, Mexican federal police official Manelich Castilla said.

As many as 2,000 visitors and buyers may have been at the market when the explosion occurred, according to Mexican news outlet El Universal.

Firework accidents in Mexico are common as they are used throughout the year at religious festivals, on the country's national holiday in September and at Christmas.

In 2013, 16 people were killed and 153 others were injured by exploding firework rockets at a procession in the state of Tlaxcala.

In 2003,28 people were killed in an explosion at a fireworks market in the state of Veracruz.

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