March 16, 2013 / 12:43 AM / 5 years ago

Fireworks blast kills at least 13 Catholic pilgrims in Mexico

Soldiers and police inspect the site of an explosion in the village of Jesus Tepactepec, near the state capital Tlaxcala, March 15, 2013. REUTERS/Imelda Medina

TLAXCALA (Reuters) - At least 13 people were killed and 154 others injured on Friday when a truck containing fireworks exploded in a freak accident in the central Mexican state of Tlaxcala, casting a pall over a Catholic procession in honor of a local patron saint.

The explosion was ignited when a stray firework fell into a truck carrying other fireworks, said Jose Mateo Morales, director of emergency services for Tlaxcala state.

The fireworks were set to be used in a ceremony honoring Jesus Tepactepec, patron saint of a village named after him in the municipality of Nativitas. The blast happened on the highway just outside the village.

Reporting by Imelda Medina, Lizbeth Diaz and Adriana Barrera; Writing by David Alire Garcia; Editing by David Brunnstrom and Todd Eastham

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