March 18, 2013
Fireworks Kill 17 at Mexican Parade in Honor of Jesus
Accident occurs during 1,000-person village's annual celebration of patron saint.
The death toll from an accidental fireworks explosion during a religious procession in Mexico has risen to at least 17 people, the Associated Press reports.
The blast that killed 17 and injured at least 150 others occurred when a malfunctioning rocket misfired during a parade in honor of Jesus Christ, the patron saint of Jesus Tepactepec, a 1,000-person village located 70 miles east of Mexico City. According to reports, a firework fell backward onto the truck carrying it, igniting the other explosives.
Initial reports said the explosion killed 13 people, but the death toll rose over the weekend, prompting religious leaders such as Tlaxcala bishop Francisco Moreno Barron, who also is governor of the state where the village is located, to speak out. Barron said in a statement that "fireworks form an important part of traditional religious celebrations in the area, but need improved safeguards."