Death Toll Rises to 35 From Explosion at Mexican Fireworks Market

About 80 percent of the 300 stalls at the open-air market were destroyed.

ByJULIA JACOBO
December 22, 2016, 4:35 PM

— -- The death toll from a massive explosion at a Mexican fireworks market on Tuesday has risen to 35, according to government authorities.

A total of 26 people were declared dead at the San Pablito Market in Tultepec. An additional nine victims died in hospitals, according to the government of the State of Mexico -- the state north of Mexico City.

More than 70 people were injured in the blast, and 12 were still missing as of Thursday afternoon, The Associated Press reported. Several homes nearby were also destroyed.

An estimated 80 percent of the 300 stalls in the open-air market were destroyed, according to BBC. Last week, the city of Tultepec released a statement calling the market "among the safest fireworks markets in Latin America."

Dramatic video shows thick clouds emerge from the market as a series of fireworks appear to go off at once. It was not immediately clear what sparked the explosion.

A similar fire engulfed the same fireworks market in 2005, sparking a chain of explosions that leveled hundreds of stalls, according to the AP. A similar fire at the market also destroyed hundreds of stalls in 2006.

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