MEXICO CITY (CBS/AP) — The governor of the State of Mexico says three more people have died from a massive chain-reaction explosion at a fireworks market near the capital, raising the death toll to 29.
Gov. Eruviel Avila says that in addition to the 26 people who perished at the market, three more died after being hospitalized.
The San Pablito fireworks market was bustling with hundreds of shoppers stocking up on explosives to set off during the holidays when the explosion took place.
“My condolences to the families of those who lost their lives in this accident and my wishes for a quick recovery for the injured,” said President Enrique Pena Nieto via Twitter.
Images broadcast by Milenio news group showed smoke rising from the scorched ground and fireworks stands. Emergency crews were attending to victims and hosing down hotspots.
Puente said some nearby homes were also damaged. The scene remained dangerous and he asked people not to come within 3 miles (5 kilometers) to avoid danger or hampering the emergency response. Puente added that there was no choice but to let any unexploded fireworks burn off.
The blast leveled stalls and left rescue workers to comb through ash and charred metal.
A fire engulfed the same market in 2005, touching off a chain of explosions that leveled 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 noisy firecrackers and rockets.
TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten. The Associated Press contributed to this report.