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Death toll rises in fireworks explosion

Published: 3/18/13 @ 12:00


Associated Press

MEXICO CITY

The death toll in a gruesome fireworks explosion during a religious procession in Mexico rose to 17, after four more people died of their injuries.

Hundreds of mourners gathered Sunday for a mass funeral for the first 13 victims of the blast, which occurred Friday in Jesus Tepactepec, a village of about 1,000 people 70 miles east of Mexico City.

The 13 wooden coffins were carried through the streets of the village to a gymnasium for a Mass attended by Tlaxcala Bishop Francisco Moreno Barron and the governor of the central state of Tlaxcala, where the village is located.

The massive blast occurred after a rocket malfunctioned and landed on a truck, igniting the fireworks it carried. Some of the victims also may have been carrying bundles of fireworks.