News & Politics
Mexican town celebrates annual festival in spite of deadly past
Despite a dark past, residents in Tultepec, on the outskirts of Mexico City, celebrated the patron saint of fireworks, San Juan de Dios, on Thursday (March 8).
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In December 2016 days before Christmas, heavy explosions at the San Pablito open-air market in Tultepec killed 42 and injured dozens.
All seemed to be forgotten as fireworks "castles" in the shape of bulls, were paraded through the town streets to later be detonated.
Tultepec has adopted San Juan de Dios as its patron saint -- according to local residents, legend says the saint rescued patients from a burning hospital.The week-long festival is not without its risks - every year several people suffer burns from standing too close to the fireworks.
There have been several accidents that have struck the popular marketplace in Tultepec, home to the country's best-known fireworks shopping and about 20 miles (32 km) north of Mexico City in the State of Mexico.
Tultepec is considered Mexico's capital of pyrotechnics -- local workshops produce about 80 percent of the country's fireworks.