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Fireworks horror kills at least 31

By Christopher Sherman

At least 31 people were killed and dozens more badly burned after a series of explosions ripped through a fireworks market on the outskirts of Mexico City.

The chain of blasts hit stalls bustling with hundreds of shoppers at the San Pablito bazaar in Tultepec on Tuesday.

The facility was well-stocked for the Christmas period, when fireworks are particularly popular in the country.

The third such blast to ravage the market - which is on the northern outskirts of Mexico's capital - since 2005 sent into the air a towering plume of smoke, which was lit up by an eruption of smaller explosions and flashes of light.

Once the smoke cleared, it became obvious that the open-air bazaar had been reduced to a mass of ash, rubble and the charred metal of fireworks stands, casting a pall over the country's Christmas season.

Yesterday, 47 people, including 10 children, remained in hospital for treatment.

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