Toll in Mexico fireworks explosion rises to 16

AFP , Sunday 17 Mar 2013

Authorities say 16 people died after fireworks exploded in a central Mexican village

Soldiers and members of the forensics team stand near in the site of an explosion in the village of Jesus Tepactepec, near the state capital Tlaxcala, March 15, 2013 (Photo: Reuters)

The number of people killed when a small truck loaded with fireworks exploded during a religious procession in a central Mexican village rose to 16 Sunday, authorities said.

Scores more injured in Friday's tragedy were still being treated in hospitals, said a statement released by the Tlaxcala state government.

The document said a total of 154 people had been injured in the accident, of whom 72 remain hospitalized.

One witness said he saw "bodies flying" as people ran for cover after a stray firework landed on the truck in Jesus Tepactepec in the middle of a march for the village's patron saint.

Mexicans often set off fireworks during celebrations, but accidents have happened in the past due to the mishandling of the pyrotechnics or a lack of safety measures.

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