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.
Fireworks explosion kills 19, injures 31 near Mexico City — Fox29 pic.twitter.com/rlTd2w4Bs1— Breaking911 (@B911Alternate) July 5, 2018
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.
The residents of the Mexican town of Tultepec have gunpowder in their blood. Almost everyone living here works in family businesses that produce fireworks by hand. To check out life in Mexico’s ‘pyrotechnics capital’, watch Mexican Boom Town on RTD. https://t.co/cxH0kuKlTO pic.twitter.com/SLAO14Tiew— RT_Documentary (@RT_Doc) July 5, 2018
"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."