10:00 GMT +320 July 2018
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    A massive explosion guts Mexico's biggest fireworks market in Tultepec

    ‘It Rained Fire’: Mexican Fireworks Factory Explosion Kills 24 (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)

    © AFP 2018 / Jose Luis Tolentino
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    A series of explosions at a fireworks assembly complex in Mexico turned lethal Thursday, killing 24 people, including first responders, and injuring dozens more.

    The deadly incident claimed the lives of factory workers and rescuers responding to the disaster, the Dallas Morning News reported. At least 31 more people sustained injuries.

    ​An explosion ripped through the factory, located in Tultepec, north of Mexico City, around 9:30 a.m. local time, prompting police officers and firefighters to mobilize. Regrettably, the fire crept over to other fireworks warehouses and set off further explosions after emergency response teams had already arrived, killing four people from the firefighting team and two police officers.

    The Mexican government initially reported eight dead employees in addition to the six deceased emergency personnel and two others who haven't been identified. The state civil defense office later updated the number of people killed to 19 via its Twitter account; hours later, state officials raised the number again to 24.

    Many residents of Tultepec produce fireworks both at factories and by hand in order to make a living. The downside of their occupation is the alarming frequency of deadly accidents. Last month, a blast in Tultepec killed seven people and wounded eight more.

    ​"I was having breakfast when there was a terrible blast," Alondra Perez, 62, who lives near the warehouses, told AFP. "We left the house running and I saw a huge white cloud in the sky, as if it were going to rain — except today, it rained fire."

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    fireworks, explosion, Tultepec, Mexico
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