MEXICO CITY: At least 13 people were killed and 154 others were injured after a truck loaded with fireworks exploded during a religious procession in a rural village in central Mexico, Mexican authorities said.
The blast was set off when a firework malfunctioned and landed on the truck, igniting the fireworks it carried, officials said. Seventy people were burned or had other injuries, and at least 45 were in all were in, authorities in the neighboring states of Tlaxcala and Puebla said.
"They were in a procession, they were shooting off rockets and it exploded and fell onto the other ones," said Jose Mateo Morales, director of the Tlaxcala state civil protection department. "It was very serious."
Human remains and burned clothes were spread around a 100-yard (100-meter) radius, including on rooftops, a photographer at the scene said.
The victims were marching in an annual procession in honor of Jesus Christ, the patron saint of Jesus Tepactepec, a village of about 1,000 people, Mateo Morales said.
At least one child was among the victims, Tlaxcala Gov. Mariano Gonzalez said.
Helicopters, dozens of ambulances and soldiers from the area's military base rushed to the village, about 70 miles (112 kilometers) east of Mexico City.
Fireworks are a typical feature of Mexican holidays and religious celebrations but they often are manufactured, stored and transported under unsafe conditions, and the country sees periodic fatal explosions. (QNA)