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Fireworks blasts kill at least 24 near Mexico City

Smoke rises after fireworks blast in Tultepec, outside Mexico City

Smoke rises after fireworks blast in Tultepec, outside Mexico City, Mexico July 5, 2018 in this picture grab obtained from social media video. DAVID VILLANUEVA/via REUTERS

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Two explosions at fireworks workshops outside Mexico City on Thursday killed at least 24 people, including rescue workers, and injured dozens more, officials said, in the latest deadly blast to hit a town known for its fireworks production.

After a first blast in the municipality of Tultepec, firefighters, police and other rescue workers arrived at the scene when a second explosion occurred, the state government said in a statement.

“Emergency crews attended the call of the first explosion, when a second incident occurred, killing and injuring members of these groups,” the statement said.

Television images showed a plume of smoke rising over buildings on the outskirts of Tultepec and scores of firefighters and rescue workers at the scene.

The attorney general’s office for the state of Mexico, the country’s most populous state which rings the capital, said that 17 people had died at the blast site and another seven died in hospital.

Another 49 people were injured, the statement added.

A series of blasts have taken occurred at the fireworks markets, workshops and depots in Tultepec, about 20 miles (32 km) north of Mexico City, including massive explosions in a market in December 2016 that killed around three dozen people.

Luis Felipe Puente, the head of Mexico’s civil protection agency, said the sale of fireworks in the area would be suspended and permits of manufacturers would be reviewed.

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(Reporting by Diego Ore; Additional reporting by Noe Torres; Editing by James Dalgleish and Richard Chang)

 

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