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24 dead, 49 injured in Mexico fireworks explosion

Tultepec, Mexico — Authorities report 24 dead and 49 injured in a fireworks explosion in the state of Mexico Thursday.

Two explosions occurred Thursday in Barrio La Saucera in the municipality of Tultepec when four warehouses storing fireworks exploded.  According to the head of Civil Protection of the Ministry of the Interior, Luis Felipe Puente, the latest figures report a death toll of 24, one of which is said to be a minor. Among the deceased are also two firemen and one policeman.

The initial explosion occurred Thursday morning around 10:00 a.m. which sent police and firemen rushing to the scene. Secretary of Health Mexiquense, David O’Shea Cuevas, said that shortly after emergency crews arrived, a second explosion rocked the area, killing and injuring more including members of the rescue teams.

The Secretariat of Security of the State of Mexico reports that security and emergency teams continue to work at the site. On location are State and Municipal Civil Protection, Emergency Service of the State of Mexico as well as three helicopters from the state’s Aerial Rescue Unit .

Air Rescue moved an injured person to the Adolfo López Mateos Medical Center in Toluca, as well as a policeman. The Ministry of Security also lifted an injured firefighter to hospital.

Photo: Civil Protection Mexico

They say more than 300 rescue people remain at the scene.

Mexico’s president Peña Nieto sent his condolences to the families of the deceased, while wishing a quick recovery to those who were injured.

“I deeply regret the loss of life in the explosion that occurred in #Tultepec. I send my condolences to the families of the deceased and I wish a quick recovery to those who were injured. @PcSegob and @SEDENAmx support the @edomex in the attention of the emergency,” the president said.

Over the last 20 years, a total of 51 explosions have occurred in this area, which is known for the production and storage of fireworks. In Tultepec, 30 percent of the families reply on the production of fireworks to make a living.