Deadly Mexico fireworks blast hit market packed for holidays, hurts scores

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Mexico Fire Explosion
Mexico Fire Explosion

Los Angeles : Ahead of Christmas, a massive explosion gutted Mexico's biggest fireworks market on Tuesday.

The explosion, which killed at least 29 people and injured 70, took place in the Mexico City suburb of Tultepec.

As soon as the explosion took place, a quick-fire series of multicolored blasts sent a vast cloud of smoke billowing over the capital city.

According to eyewitness, several customers visit the area to buy pyrotechnics for traditional end-of-year festivities especially with Christmas and New Year's parties around the corner.

The multiple explosions that started at 2:50 p.m. (2050 GMT) almost looked festive, alight in blue, red and white.

Mexico state's Governor Eruviel Avila said, "We recovered 26 bodies at the scene of the incident. And three more have died in the hospital, for a total of 29 dead."

On Twitter, Federal police said that 70 people were hurt and were transported to emergency rooms.

Luis Felipe Puente, head of civil protection service, said crews had to wait for all the fireworks to finish exploding before they could extinguish the flames.

"The entire market is gone," he said.

Ambulances, fire trucks, police vehicles and army trucks have reached the spot and doing rescue operations.

In Spanish, Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto tweeted his condolences to the families of those killed and his wishes for recovery for those hurt.

Mis condolencias a los familiares de quienes perdieron la vida en este accidente y mis deseos de pronta recuperación para los lesionados.