By Alix Hardy
At least 19 people were killed and 40 wounded Thursday when a series of explosions rocked a fireworks factory in the town of Tultepec, north of Mexico City, said officials.
The first explosion occurred around 9:40 a.m. local time (1430GMT), the officials said in a press release.
Ambulances of the Red Cross, police, firefighters, town hall workers and neighbors rushed to the scene to rescue the victims. Three more explosions were heard around 20 minutes later, officials said, adding they were the deadliest.
The dead included a minor, a member of the Civil Protection Brigades, four firefighters and a federal and municipal police officer, the officials added.
The wounded were transferred by helicopters to various regional hospitals and medical centers by air rescue unit Grupo Relampagos, according to the Red Cross.
Authorities said they would have to determine whether the factory had a state permit, adding they would later conduct a comprehensive audit of all permits distributed in the zone.
A number of deadly explosions have occurred in Tultepec, which specializes in fireworks production. On Dec. 20, 2016, 42 people were killed and 70 wounded in a series of blasts at the San Pablito market, the largest fireworks market in the country.