Explosion rips fireworks market outside Mexico City; 29 dead, 80 injured

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Explosion rips fireworks market outside Mexico City

The governor of the State of Mexico says three more people have died from a massive chain-reaction at a fireworks market near the capital, raising the death toll to 29.

Gov. Eruviel Avila says that in addition to the 26 people who perished at the market, three more died after being hospitalized.

The Federal Police announced what it called a "preliminary" toll from Thursday's blast.

President Enrique Pena Nieto has sent his condolences to families of the dead via Twitter.

A fire engulfed the same market in 2005, touching off a chain of explosions that leveled 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.

Images seen on a Facebook video showed explosion after explosion for minutes.


National Civil Protection Coordinator Luis Felipe Puente told Milenio TV that 60 people were hurt but he had no immediate report of any fatalities at the open-air San Pablito Market in Tultepec, in the State of Mexico.

Images broadcast by Milenio showed smoke rising from the scorched ground and fireworks stands. Emergency crews were attending to victims and hosing down hotspots.



Puente said some nearby homes were also damaged. The scene remained dangerous and he asked people not to come within 3 miles to avoid danger or hampering the emergency response. Puente added that there was no choice but to let any unexploded fireworks burn off.

A fire engulfed the same market in 2005, touching off a chain of explosions that leveled 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.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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