Emergency personnel at the scene of the fireworks explosion in Querétaro. Emergency personnel at the scene of the explosion.

Fireworks explosion kills 5 in Querétaro

Citizens in Tequisquiapan had gathered to celebrate the Virgin of Guadalupe when the rockets exploded

A fireworks explosion yesterday in Querétaro killed five people and injured 55 others, while a 10-meter castillo in México state fell and injured four spectators at a festival on Sunday.

Early yesterday in Fuentezuelas, Tequisquiapan, residents had gathered in the town’s church to celebrate the Virgin of Guadalupe when 11 kilograms of fireworks exploded.

Panicked citizens ran from the scene to escape the exploding rockets but many were unable to get away and suffered burns of varying degrees.

Two of those killed were children.

Municipal authorities conducted an operation in September to crack down on the illegal sale of fireworks. After yesterday’s explosion, they seized more than 4,600 rockets that were being stored in Fuentezuelas.

Late Sunday, meanwhile, a castillo, or castle, a common element of a fireworks display, fell just after it was lit on the esplanade across from Zumpango municipal headquarters.

The structure had been tied to a pole for support but fell regardless into a crowd of hundreds of people who had gathered for Immaculate Conception festivities.

Of the four people hurt, two were reported in serious condition.

Source: El Universal (sp), El Diario de Querétaro (sp)

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