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            Feature: Firework market blast brings sorrow, economic woes
            2018-03-11 23:50 发布 次浏览

          "I can't thank god enough for still being alive," said Magdalena.

          Magdalena ran out of the building as soon as she heard the first blast, ending only after she had reached an empty lot nearby.

          However, at least 35 others, most of them stall owners like themselves, lost their lives at the market, which has been largely burnt to the ground.

          Two similar incidents in 2005 and 2006 taught her to react quickly.

          Market leaders said they have sold at least 600 tons of fireworks products in December.

          Around 3 p.m. local time on Tuesday, a series of explosions -- including six major blasts, possibly from stored gunpowder kegs, and hundreds of smaller rockets and firecrackers going off in all directions -- destroyed some 300 stalls during the high time of the annual shopping season.

          MEXICO CITY, Dec. 23 (Xinhua) -- Sisters Ana Maria and Magdalena Sanchez, stall owners at the San Pablito market in central Mexico that exploded Tuesday, have luckily survived unscathed.

          "We have to apply the reliable and proven solutions in fire prevention and protection used in other countries, and adapt to the new reality of a developing and sustainable Mexico that has security and avoid regrettable incidents like what happened in Tultepec," said Macias.

          "We are not going to abandon the 300 families who make a living from this important market," he said, adding "the challenge is to know how to combine safety ... and the craft making.

          Maria had just left the stall to have lunch in the dining area.

          Roberto, a local taxi driver who stopped to help rescue workers at the scene late Tuesday, said his community has been hard hit and need help to get back on its feet.

          Maria estimated that they have lost 50,000 pesos (about 2,400 U.S. dollars) worth of merchandise since they were well stocked for peak holiday sales, including flares, sparklers and firecrackers for New Year's Eve celebrations.

          The town of Tultepec, where the market was located, is steeped in sorrow both for the victims and the destruction of its residents' livelihood. It is estimated that the local fireworks industry has employed up to 65 percent of the town's residents.

          "We spoke with leaders of the craftsmen (who manufacture fireworks) and we pledged to help all ... 300 stall owners ... so that next year they can once again resume their normal activities and rebuild that market," Pena Nieto said at an official event.

          According to Antonio Macias, a member of the Mexican Association of Automatic Fire Sprinklers (AMRACI), Tuesday's tragedy and other similar events are due to a lack of "a culture of prevention."

          "In our country, to date, they have worked more on fighting fires than on preventing them," Macias told Xinhua.

          "The whole town feels deeply sad. We are all pained for the loss," Maria, 46, who inherited the business from her father, told Xinhua on Wednesday.

          On Thursday, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto visited several victims of the blast at a local hospital, and announced the market will be rebuilt in 2017.

          "It's terrible to see your town like this. To see how its future -- the labor and effort of so many years -- turns to ashes," he said.