A tragic series of explosions in fireworks workshops north of Mexico City killed 19 and injured 40 more this Thursday, according to the Los Angeles Times. Luis Felipe Puente, leader of Mexico’s civil defense agency, told the Times that the explosions began in an “unauthorized, clandestine” fireworks workshop—and that in a horrific twist of fate, a second set of explosions killed a group of emergency personnel and first responders who had rushed in to help. The Mexican government reported that at least eight villagers and six emergency personnel were killed; they later raised the death toll to 19 without identifying the new victims. These deaths are the latest in a series of firework-related casualties in Mexico, the Times adds. Seven people were killed in June, “several dozen” in December 2016, and over a hundred more in recent history—and they have reinvigorated a national debate over fireworks safety regulations, many of which authorities have not successfully enforced. “We cannot continue to allow this kind of situation,” Puente said, reflecting on the tragedy.
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