29 killed as se­ries of ex­plo­sions rips open-air fire­works mar­ket

The Washington Times Daily - - WORLD - THE WORLD

TUL­TE­PEC | A pow­er­ful chain-re­ac­tion ex­plo­sion tore through Mex­ico’s best­known fire­works mar­ket on the north­ern out­skirts of the cap­i­tal Tues­day, killing at least 29 peo­ple, in­jur­ing scores more and send­ing a huge plume of smoke bil­low­ing into the sky.

The blast lev­eled the open-air San Pablito Mar­ket in Tul­te­pec in the mid­dle of the af­ter­noon as it bus­tled with shop­pers stock­ing up on fire­works to cel­e­brate Christ­mas and New Year’s, re­duc­ing ven­dors’ stands to piles of rub­ble, ash and charred metal.

Cres­cen­cia Fran­cisco Gar­cia said she was in the mid­dle of the grid of stalls when the thun­der­ous ex­plo­sions be­gan. As she ran, she saw peo­ple with burns and lots of blood.

“Ev­ery­thing was catch­ing fire. Ev­ery­thing was ex­plod­ing,” she said. “The stones were fly­ing, pieces of brick, ev­ery­thing was fly­ing.”

Mex­ico State Gov. Eru­viel Avila said the blast killed 29 peo­ple — 26 at the site and three in hos­pi­tals. At least 70 in­juries were re­ported.

“Mex­ico is in mourn­ing,” he said in an in­ter­view with Foro TV.

Au­thor­i­ties have not said what caused the ex­plo­sion.

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