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Fireworks Market Explosion Kills 31 Near Mexico City

Image: Fireworks Market Explosion Kills 31 Near Mexico City

This image made from video recorded from a passing car shows an explosion ripping through the San Pablito fireworks' market in Tultepec, Mexico, Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2016. (Jose Luis Tolentino via AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 21 Dec 2016 09:18 AM

A fireworks market explosion that took place just outside of Mexico City on Tuesday has left at least 31 people dead and several others severely injured.

The San Pablito fireworks market in Tultepec was filled with hundreds of shoppers Tuesday afternoon when a fatal explosion went off, setting off several additional blasts, CBS News reported.

The New York Times reported that the explosion took place at about 3 p.m., and video footage shows “a chain reaction of explosions followed by enormous plumes of smoke.”

Ambulances rushed to the scene and officials warned people to stay away, as they feared there would be more explosions.

Though the death toll was at about 26 people on Tuesday, local authorities said it increased to 31 on Wednesday, NBC News noted.

Mexico State health officials said more than 70 people were being treated for injuries following the explosion, CBS News noted. In some cases, victims experienced severe burns to over 90 percent of their bodies.

This is the third major explosion to hit the market since 2005.

Authorities have yet to find what caused the explosion.

Crescencia Francisco Garcia, who survived the blasts, said she took off running, as she saw people with burns, cuts and blood.

“Everything was catching fire. Everything was exploding,” Francisco said, per CBS News. “The stones were flying, pieces of brick, everything was flying.”

Cesar Ornelas said he tried to run, but was knocked to the ground by something that had hit him from behind. He said his 15-year-old son dragged him out of the market.

“We didn’t look back,” said Ornelas, who suffered light burns from the explosions, CBS News reported. “We heard how the explosion was kind of going off bit by bit.”

According to Luis Felipe Puente, the national coordinator for civil protection, some nearby homes were damaged by the explosion.

While addressing the media on Tuesday, Mexico State Gov. Eruviel Avila said “We are going to identify who is responsible.”

Tultepec Mayor Armando Portuguez Fuentes said the demand for firecrackers and rockets is usually high this time of year, CBS News noted.

The tragic incident comes just a month after the state’s Institute of Pyrotechnics certified the market as “the safest in all of Latin America,” the Times noted.

“My condolences to the families of those who lost their lives in this accident and my wishes for a quick recovery for the injured,” President Enrique Pena Nieto said via Twitter.

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A fireworks market explosion that took place just outside of Mexico City on Tuesday has left at least 31 people dead and several others severely injured.
fireworks, market, explosion, mexico
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2016-18-21
Wednesday, 21 Dec 2016 09:18 AM
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