Blast at Mexico fireworks market kills at least 29, injures dozens more

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TULTEPEC, Mexico – The governor of the State of Mexico said Tuesday, December 20th three more people died after a massive chain-reaction explosion at a fireworks market near the capital, raising the death toll to 29.

Gov. Eruviel Avila said in addition to the 26 people who perished at the market, three more died after being hospitalized.

The San Pablito fireworks market was bustling with hundreds of shoppers stocking up on explosives to set off during the holidays when the explosion took place.

An additional 72 people were injured, said Avila.

Three minors are expected to be transferred to a hospital in Galveston, Texas, for treatment of extreme burns after the blast in Tultepec, about 40 kilometers (about 25 miles) north of Mexico City.

Video captured flashes of fire and what appeared to be fireworks exploding. A witness told CNN that people ran for their lives.

The death toll climbed throughout the evening.

The cause was not immediately known.

Jose Luis Tolentino said he was in traffic and heard loud noises. Some of the people who tried to get away tripped in the frantic dash, he said.

Tolentino said the fireworks market is the size of a soccer stadium.

Pyrotechnics are a major industry in Tultepec. In 2005, a large explosion took place at the same fireworks market. That blast injured many people and caused enormous damage.

Emergency responders were at the charred scene and assessing the damage Tuesday, Luis Felipe Puente, coordinator of Mexico's national civil protection agency, told CNN affiliate FOROtv.

Photos from Red Cross Mexico showed the devastation and paramedics on the scene.

It is the third such blast to ravage the market on the northern outskirts of the capital since 2005.

This is a developing story; refresh for updates.