At least 14 people were killed, including 11 children, and scores more were injured in an explosion at a house where fireworks were stored in central Mexico's Puebla state, authorities said on Tuesday.
Television images showed the house, which stored the fireworks and was located next to a church, tattered and in ruins, shattered pieces of its stone walls strewn in an adjacent field.
The blast occurred on Monday night in the town of Chilchotla during preparations for a local festival next week.
‘A group of people lived in the house where the pyrotechnic material was stored for use in the festivities. A firework launched by someone outside (the house) fell on top of the fireworks, causing the explosion that knocked down the home,’ the government of Puebla said in a statement.
Nine people were killed on the spot and five more died after being taken to nearby hospitals. Earlier, 30 people were reported injured.
A senior official in the Puebla state government, Diodoro Carrasco, told a local radio station that despite state laws on storing fireworks it was difficult to prevent these types of accidents.
A series of massive explosions destroyed a fireworks market outside the Mexican capital in December, killing at least 35 people, injuring dozens and leaving the market a charred wasteland.
Luis Felipe Puente, head of national emergency services, said he had given instructions to move forward on the ground work to issue national rules for the handling of fireworks.