MEXICO CITY — An errant firecracker landed on a cache of fireworks and touched off a powerful explosion at a home in central Mexico, killing at least 14 people and injuring 22 more, authorities said Tuesday.
The Puebla state government reported that 11 children were among the fatal victims of Monday night’s blast in the town of San Isidro, Chilchotla municipality.
It said the fireworks had been stored inside a home behind a church ahead of a May 15 religious celebration, and the firecracker that set off the explosion was launched from outside as part of a procession of an image of the local patron saint. The home was destroyed.
Cinco Radio posted a video on Twitter of a priest praying with community members, while images from 24 Morelos Noticias showed weeping residents hugging each other and walking through the wreckage of cinderblocks and twisted rebar.
Fireworks are a mainstay of holiday celebrations in Mexico, and accidental blasts are relatively common occurrences often with fatal consequences.
On Dec. 20 a particularly large chain-reaction explosion ripped through a fireworks market in Tultepec, on the northern outskirts of Mexico City, as it was bustling with shoppers stocking up to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s, killing several dozen people.
There have been at least two other deadly pyrotechnic blasts in the country since then, including one at a home in Tultepec and another at a fireworks workshop in the central state of Tlaxcala, which borders Puebla.