PUEBLA, Mexico – At least 14 people were killed and about 30 others injured in an explosion at a fireworks warehouse in Puebla, a state in central Mexico, officials said Tuesday.
The explosion occurred Monday night in San Isidro, a town outside the city of Chilchotla, while dozens of residents were working on preparations for the celebration of the feast day of the town’s patron saint on May 15, the Puebla state government said in a statement.
People in the street fired a rocket that hit a two-story house being used to store fireworks next to San Isidro’s main church, setting off the blast, investigators said.
Nine people were pronounced dead at the scene and five others died at hospitals, while about 30 people were injured, the majority of them suffering second- and third-degree burns.
Of the 14 people killed in the explosion, 11 were children, Puebla government spokesman Javier Lozano Alarcon said.
Doctors are treating 22 people for severe head injuries, third-degree burns and fractures, Lozano Alarcon told reporters.
Puebla Gov. Antonio Gali and Public Safety Secretary Jesus Morales plan to travel to the scene of the explosion on Tuesday.
“We’re going to facilitate things for the families, there won’t be autopsies of any of the dead, we’re going to provide coffins, we’re going to help them, it’s a very sad incident,” Lozano Alarcon said.
About a dozen medical assistance vehicles were sent to San Isidro, the Health Secretariat said.
Mexico has experienced large losses of life in several accidents involving fireworks in recent years.
On Dec. 20, a series of explosions at the San Pablito Fireworks Market in Tultepec, a city in Mexico state located just outside the Federal District, killed 42 people.
In March 2013, a fireworks explosion in the central state of Tlaxcala killed 16 people during a religious procession.