19 Dead, 40 Injured In Multiple Firework Blasts In Tultepec, Mexico

Rescue workers are among the dead.

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Multiple explosions at fireworks workshops outside Mexico City on Thursday killed at least 19 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.

The accident occurred in the same town where at least 31 people died in a similar explosion in December 2016. Photo: Reuters.

“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.

Luis Felipe Puente, the head of Mexico’s civil protection agency, told local television there were at least 19 fatalities and 40 people injured.

He reportedly told the Milenio news network that there were four blasts in total, which started at an unauthorised workshop.

The dead included four firefighters and two police officers who rushed to the scene after the first explosion, as well as one minor and a civil defense worker.

“The problem was that after the first explosion, people went running to help, and when the second explosion occurred, these people who ran to help were killed,” he said.

Four firefighters and two police officers who rushed to the scene after the first explosion are among the dead. Photo: Reuters.

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

Puente said the sale of fireworks in the area would be suspended and the permits of manufacturers would be reviewed.