TULTEPEC – As many as 29 people were killed while 70 others were left injured after an explosion in a fireworks market outside the Mexican capital here on Tuesday.
“We recovered 26 bodies at the scene of the incident. And three more have died in the hospital, for a total of 29 dead,” Mexico state’s governor Eruviel Avila said.
“Some 13 children suffered burns to over 90% of their bodies and were being sent to the US city of Galveston in Texas for treatment,” he added.
The explosion, which was caught on camera, sent a huge plume of multi-coloured smoke billowing into the sky due to chain reaction.
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Over 80% of the 300 stalls at the market were gutted by the explosion while the cause of the explosion is still under investigation.
The head of Tultepec emergency services Isidro Sanchez said the death toll was only preliminary at this point as rescue workers were still scouring the site.
“A lack of sufficient security measures had likely caused the blast,” he added.
Fireworks are commonly sold over the Christmas holidays but the explosion saddened the whole country days before Christmas.
This is not the first time that an explosion has affected a fireworks market in Mexico. Tuesday’s blast was the third to strike the popular San Pablito marketplace in Tultepec, about 20 miles north of Mexico City, in just over a decade.