An explosion has ripped through Mexico’s best-known fireworks market on the northern outskirts of the capital, leaving at least 29 people dead and 72 injured, including three minors.
The blast occurred around 2:50 pm Tuesday, destroying the open-air San Pablito Market in Tultepec, which had 300 stalls.
Footage shows a huge plume of smoke billowing in the sky with fireworks going off and exploding mid-air.
Secondary explosions continued more than an hour afterwards, BNO News reported. Rescuers couldn’t enter until the rockets were done exploding.
Some of the injured have burns on up to 90 per cent of their bodies. Some have other serious injuries. Officials and civilians were seen carrying away one of the injured while fireworks went off in the background.
The governor of the State Of Mexico told CNN Español that 29 people had died, including three who died in the hospital, and that 72 had been injured.
Three of the injured are minors who will be taken to Texas to be treated for severe burns.
The explosion could be heard and seen from miles away Tuesday. It wasn’t immediately clear what had triggered the blast. The flames had been stopped as of Tuesday evening.
Photos taken after the blast show market stalls reduced to charred remains, with most of the market blown to smithereens. Rescuers can be seen looking through piles of rubble.
A fire engulfed the same market in 2005, setting off a chain of explosions that destroyed 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 firecrackers and rockets.
San Pablito Market, the largest in the state of Mexico, has official permission to sell pyrotechnics.
Tutelpec, which is about 20 miles north of Mexico City, has 50,000 inhabitants.
Aerial footage taken in the aftermath of the explosions shows clouds of white cloud all above the devastated market.
SOURCE: Daily Mail, Clemence Michallon; The Associated Press