Latin America & Caribbean

Mexico President Pena Nieto to rebuild Tultepec fireworks market

San Pablito market in Tultepec, after fire Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Most of the market was burned to the ground and nearby houses were damaged

Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto has promised to rebuild an open-air fireworks market destroyed by a series of huge explosions on Tuesday.

Mr Pena Nieto said he had made a commitment to help 300 artisans who had stalls at the San Pablito fireworks market and had lost their livelihoods.

The disaster in the city of Tultepec has killed 35 people and injured another 70.

The market has been burned to the ground three times in the past decade.

"We made a commitment to support everyone, the 300 stall owners of that market to recover and support them so that they can continue their activities next year normally," said Mr Pena Nieto during a visit to survivors in hospital.

The cause of Tuesday's explosions is yet not clear.

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Media captionA passer-by captured the mass of pyrotechnics exploding high into the sky

Most of the 35 people killed are so badly burned their bodies will have to be identified using DNA testing.

Some of the victims were taken to a specialised hospital in the US city of Galveston, Texas.

Video from the scene showed a large number of fireworks rocketing into the air as they caught fire.

Fireworks continued to explode after the initial blast, as smoke billowed from the area in thick black clouds.

The market had contained up to 300 tonnes of fireworks, Mexican media reported.

The economy of Tultepec relies heavily on the pyrotechnics industry. The city lies north of the capital Mexico City.

The authorities promised to "defend the livelihoods" of the people who worked at the market and support them until it is rebuilt.

"The artisans are not alone," said Mexico state Governor Eruviel Avila.

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