Dozens are dead and many more are injured after a blast ripped through a fireworks market in Tultepec, Mexico, located about 40 kilometers north of the city. The explosions began around 2:30 p.m. and it took firefighters almost three hours to get the fire under control.
BBC reports that at least 31 people have died in the explosions . The victims were so badly burned that it would take DNA testing to identify the remains. Witnesses and people near the fireworks market and even in neighboring towns claimed that the explosions shook the ground and one woman said she thought that planes were crashing down and bombs were being dropped because of the intensity of the blast.
— New York Post (@nypost) December 21, 2016
At that time, the San Pablito Market was filled with shoppers who were there to buy fireworks. Some of the reported injured were children who will be taken to Texas for treatment as they were burned on more than 90% of their bodies.
It is not the first time that there was a fire in San Pablito Market, as in 2005 just before Mexico's Independence Day, a chain of explosions leveled the market. In 2006, USA Today reports that another fire engulfed hundreds of stands in the market. Both fires resulted to injuries, unlike the newest one which has claimed dozens of lives and prompted Eruviel Avila, governor of the State of Mexico to declare that Mexico is in mourning.
President Enrique Peña Nieto also offered his condolences to the families of the victims and hoped for the injured to have a speedy recovery.
There are some relatives who are now looking for their family members who they believe were at the market. Some are bringing pictures of their friends, hoping that they are just among the injured and not the dead.
The cause of the explosions remains unknown, as the investigation is still ongoing. But there are speculations that lack of safety measures may be to blame for the tragedy that has claimed lives. There are reports that the explosion, which happened in September 2005, was due to mishandling of gunpowder.