The yuletide week has turned mournful for the Mexicans who were hit by unexpected explosives packaged at the city’s fireworks market.
According to report from Tultepec, Mexico, a powerful chain-reaction explosion ripped through the city’s best-known fireworks market on the northern outskirts of the capital on Tuesday, killing at least 29 people and injuring scores more.
Vendors’ stands were not left out as the blast reduced all to piles of rubble, ash, and charred metal with huge plumes of charcoal-gray smoke billowing into the sky.
Though the security officials are yet to figure out what exactly caused the blast, concerned individuals suspect it’s the handiwork of some terrorists who packaged strong explosives as fireworks.
This is however, the third devastating explosion and fire to ravage the market since 2005
Video of the blast showed a dramatic staccato of rockets exploding in flashes of light, levelling the open-air San Pablito Market in Tultepec in Mexico State as it bustled with shoppers stocking up on fireworks to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s.
Crescencia Francisco Garcia, a 20-year-old witness said she was in the middle of the grid of stalls along with a few hundred others when the thunderous explosions began. She froze, reflexively looked up at the sky and then took off running through the smoke once she realized everyone was doing so. As she ran she saw people with burns and cuts, and lots of blood.
“Everything was catching fire. Everything was exploding,” Francisco said. “The stones were flying, pieces of brick, everything was flying.
More than a dozen children suffered burns to over 90% of their bodies and were being sent to the US city of Galveston in Texas for treatment, said Eruviel Avila, the governor of the state of Mexico. The state’s top prosecutor raised the death toll late on Tuesday to 31.
This incidence comes after a lorry mowed through a Christmas market bustling with revellers in a central Berlin square.
Australian Trisha O’Neill who also witnessed the tragedy, described the horror as she saw the huge lorry bearing down on her.
“We sat just behind the stall having a mulled wine and then all of a sudden there was a big boom,” she told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
“I just saw this huge black truck speeding through the markets crushing so many people and then all the lights went out and everything was destroyed.
“I could hear screaming and then we all froze. Then suddenly people started to move and lift all the wreckage off people, trying to help whoever was there,” she said.
Meanwhile, the SA government and security department warn citizens to remain vigilant during this festive period.
Launching a “Safer Festive operation” programme ahead of the festive season, the South African Police Service (SAPS) cautions citizens against carrying large amounts of money, to avoid being targeted by criminals even as it prepares itself to ensure the safety of all.
“We will be conducting foot patrols, holding road blocks, coordinating search operations, there will be high visibility of police officers complimented by private security at shopping malls” SAPS Spokesperson, Vishnu Naidoo said, while promising that they will increase the visibility of officers during the holidays.