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9 killed, 70 hurt in Mexico fireworks market blast

/ 08:08 AM December 21, 2016
firecracker

A police officer shows illegal fireworks confiscated during a crackdown on the contraband in Bocaue, Bulacan, on December 22, 2015. INQUIRER PHOTO / GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

MEXICO CITY, Mexico — An explosion ripped through a fireworks market in Mexico’s capital on Tuesday, killing at least nine people and injuring 70, according to police.

The conflagration, in the suburb of Tultepec, set off a quickfire series of multicolored blasts and a vast cloud of smoke that hung over Mexico City.

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Fire crews were struggling to control the blaze. But the head of the civil protection service, Luis Felipe Puente, said they had to wait for all the fireworks explosions to stop.

READ: 2 kids dead in Bulacan fireworks factory explosion | Gov’t shuts down all firecracker establishments nationwide

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“We have a preliminary toll of 70 people injured who are being taken to various emergency rooms, and nine people dead,” the federal police said on its Twitter account.

The military was deployed to help emergency crews transport casualties to hospitals by ambulance and helicopter.

The governor of Mexico state, Eruviel Avila, said on Twitter that the priority was to “tend to the injured.”

“The sound of blasts started to go off and we thought it was a nearby fireworks workshop,” local resident Alejandra Pretel told AFP.

But minutes later it became evident that it was the market being destroyed.

“My neighbors said they felt everything shake, but I didn’t realize because I was running away,” she said. CBB

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TAGS: fireworks, fireworks blast, Mexico, news, Tultepec
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