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More than 40 people died in the 2016 explosions

At least 19 people have been killed and dozens injured in two explosions at a fireworks warehouse in Mexico.

The casualties include firefighters and rescuers who had arrived following the initial explosion, in the town of Tultepec, to help victims.

The town, about 32km (20 miles) from Mexico City, is known as the country’s pyrotechnic capital.

A market in the town has twice been badly damaged by explosions. More than 40 people died in blasts there in 2016.

At the time there were calls for the market to be closed, but President Enrique Pena Nieto promised to rebuild it and help hundreds of local artisans who had lost their livelihoods.

The latest incident began at about 09:30 local time (14:30 GMT). Local people described the scene.

“I was having breakfast when there was a terrible blast. 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,” said resident Alondra Perez, quoted by AFP news agency.

The government of Mexico state said in a statement: “Emergency crews attended the call of the first explosion, when a second incident occurred, killing and injuring members of these groups.”

At least four workshops were destroyed, local media said. A fire triggered by the blasts was said to have been brought under control.

Firework accidents are common in Mexico, not least in Tultepec:

  • The town’s San Pablito market was badly damaged by explosions ahead of independence day in September 2005 and dozens of people of were injured
  • An explosion in 2006 destroyed part of the market
  • Another incident at the market in December 2016 left 42 dead and 70 injured
  • An explosion in the town on 6 June this year killed seven people.

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