Mexico sweet factory hit by deadly explosion

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Watch: Workers complained of an "acid smell" before the blast, as Emily Thomas reports

At least one person has died and dozens more are injured in an explosion and fire that tore through a sweet factory in northern Mexico.

A boiler is believed to have exploded in the Dulces Blueberry factory at an industrial park in Ciudad Juarez, causing the ceiling to collapse.

About 300 people were said to be in the factory at the time and several are still unaccounted for.

Fire crews and about 30 ambulances were at the scene.

Ciudad Juarez Civil Protection Director Fernando Mota said firefighters found a body inside the factory and that six of the injured were in a serious condition.

He said several workers were missing and could be trapped inside the building.

"We're still searching the area to see if there are more dead," he added.

Footage from the scene showed local people gathering outside, many of them in tears as they awaited news of friends or relatives.

Paramedics were treating the injured, some of whom were badly burned.

Image source, AFP
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Worried relatives anxiously awaited news of factory workers
Image source, AFP
Image caption,
Smoke billowed from the factory after the explosion

Ciudad Juarez is in the state of Chihuahua on the border with the US state of Texas.

Factories such as the one affected, known as maquiladoras, are located in a free trade zone between the United States and Mexico.

They are estimated to employ more than one million Mexicans.

The BBC's Will Grant in Mexico City says maquiladoras are often criticised by labour rights groups for their low wages and poor working conditions, as they try to compete with China to manufacture cheap goods for the US market.