The largest fireworks market in Latin American is located in Tultepec, Mexico, just outside Mexico City. A huge explosion occurred at the market on Tuesday, setting off hundreds of fireworks. Last reported at least 27 people were killed in the explosion, and at least 70 were injured.
The cause of the explosion has yet to be uncovered, though there will be a thorough investigation. This is the third explosion to occur at the San Pablito fireworks market in Tultepec. The last two explosions occurred in 2005 and 2006, but there were no deaths. What’s more, this market was recently called “the safest is all of Latin America” by the Institute of Pyrotechnics.
After the explosion started, the smoke and sounds of fireworks could be heard all around the town. The flames and small firework explosions actually damaged surrounding homes and cars. Emergency crews rushed to the site and tried to help put out the fires and help the injured all while fireworks popped and whizzed past them.
Fireworks are very popular in Mexico, especially around Christmastime. So, it was no surprise that vendors at the market were stocked full and the crowds were big, full of families and small children. Three small children who were caught in the explosion were taken to a hospital in Galveston, Texas to attend to burns that covered 70-percent of their bodies.
There are many people still unaccounted for, according to Eruviel Avila, the Mexico State governor. The authorities are working to identify the dead to help give families as much information as possible. Avila said that at the moment, treating the injured is the top priority and that those affected by the explosion will have all their medical expenses taken care of.
What’s more, the sale of fireworks will continue in the state, though not at that specific market for the time being. Avila also said that those who lose their livelihoods – the fireworks vendors – will be supported by the state for the time being.
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[H/T New York Times]