Fireworks cache explodes in Mexico, killing at least 12

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That was the tally as of early this morning in San Isidro, Chilchotla, where nine people died at the scene of the blast, including five children. "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. Numerous victims were inside the two-story house, which was leveled by the blast.

The pyrotechnic material to be used for the May 15 occasion was stored in a facility behind the local church.

The blast occurred last night in a rural area of central Puebla state, Diodoro Carrasco, a senior official in the state government, told radio station Cinco Radio.

An official of the state said 22 people were also injured by the explosion and that three of them were in serious condition.

The tragedy in San Isidro comes four months after fire and explosions tore through a sprawling fireworks market on the outskirts of the Mexican capital, killing 33 people and wounding many more.

Army troops and government officials cordoned off the blast site as ambulances rushed in to collect the wounded. State governor Antonio Gali Fayad plans to visit the village soon.

Villagers standing amid the rubble after the explosion
Villagers standing amid the rubble after the explosion

The authorities say a lit rocket was thrown into a building where the pyrotechnics were kept. The market was well stocked with fireworks at the time and there were hundreds of customers.

Fireworks are a mainstay of holiday celebrations in Mexico, and accidental blasts are relatively common occurrences often with fatal consequences.

The market was filled with people shopping for Christmas and New Year's festivities. The explosion at the market in December was not the first in the area.

Both incidents left dozens of injured, but no fatalities.

Despite frequent and deadly accidents, data show Mexicans continue to spend about $10 million each month on fireworks nationwide.