Mexico fire work explosion injures at least 60

Mexico fireworks explosion kills at least 31

Footage shows fireworks exploding as massive plume of smoke billows into the sky

Samuel Osborne@SamuelOsborne93
Tuesday 20 December 2016 23:24
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A huge explosion has ripped through Mexico's best-known fireworks market, reportedly killing at least 31 people and injuring more than 70.

Video uploaded to social media showed fireworks exploding as a massive plume of smoke billowed into the sky above the open-air San Pablito Market in Tultepec, north of Mexico City.

Drone footage shared in the aftermath of the explosion showed smoke rising from scorched firework stalls.

Mexico State chief prosecutor Alejandro Gomez said the death toll rose to 31, after several people died at local hospitals.

Luis Felipe Puente, head of national emergency services, said at least 70 were injured and the number could rise.

He also said some nearby homes had also been damaged.

Mr Puente urged people not to come within three miles (five kilometers) to avoid danger.

Firefighters and rescue workers remove debris from the scorched ground of Mexico's fireworks market in Tultepec
Firefighters and rescue workers remove debris from the scorched ground of Mexico's fireworks market in Tultepec

He said there was no choice but to let any unexploded fireworks burn off.

Authorities have not yet said what may have caused the explosions.

The Mexican Red Cross said it sent 10 ambulances with 50 paramedics to the market, where emergency crews attended to victims and hosed down smoldering hotspots as fireworks continued to pop off.

In 2005, a fire engulfed the same market, setting off a chain of explosions that levelled hundreds of stalls just ahead of Mexico's Independence Day.

A similar fire at the San Pablito Market also destroyed hundreds of stands in September 2006.

Many in Mexico traditionally celebrate holidays — including Christmas and New Year's — by setting off noisy firecrackers and rockets.

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