Mexico City, July 6: At least 24 people lost their lives in a series of explosions that took place at fireworks workshops in the city of Tultepec, located 40 kilometres north of capital Mexico City, on Thursday, July 5. Seventeen people reportedly died on the spot while seven succumbed to their injuries in the hospital later.
Dozens of people were also injured in the blasts that killed, among others, four firefighters and two policemen who had rushed to the spot for help. One the deceased was seven-year-old, the state health sources said, adding that the initial explosion was followed by several more in an hour.
The spot of explosion is La Saucera area of Tultepec, the Mexican government sources said. Tultepec is known to be Mexico's fireworks capital which has a very old tradition of manufacturing fireworks and plays hosts to a huge fireworks festival each year. While the emergency respondents were rushing to the spot after the first explosion around 9.40 am local time (8.10 pm IST), the second occurred and soon it was a chain of blasts.
Videos of thick smoke rising from the areas of explosion were seen doing the rounds after the tragedy. Authorities said four small buildings were also destroyed in the explosions.
In 2016, more than 30 people were killed in explosions in Tultepec's San Pablito market while in 2005, several people were injured in an explosion in the same fireworks market. Incidents of deadly fireworks have happened in other parts of Mexico in the past as well.
Safety arrangements at fireworks workshops and markets have been an issue of debate in the Latin American country. While regulations exist in theory, they are often seen to be flouted in the reality.