Coyoacán, Mexico City — Four hundred kilos of gunpowder and fireworks were accidentally set off Sunday on the roof of the Lord of Mercy church in a municipality of Mexico City.
During the patron saint of the Lord of Mercy celebration, which takes place the first Sunday of September each year, a company hired to provide the fireworks display stored the pyrotechnic material on the roof of the church.
The stored batch of unexploded gunpowder somehow caught fire, creating an explosion so great that windows in nearby homes shattered while patrons celebration the annual event ran for cover. The church, which is located in the town of Los Reyes, also suffered damage.
“Suddenly it happened. I did not know whether to run or I did not know if it was thunder that was being heard, but the people ran because the glass and the church clock fell,” said Armando Gómez, an area resident.
Antonio Gómez Guzmán, fire chief of Coyoacán, said that some rockets were detonated on the roof and that there “was nothing left”. The windows of five houses were shattered and several people were injured with second and third-degree burns.
Police of the Public Security Secretariat of Mexico City (SSP CDMX), assigned to the Citizen Protection Unit (UPC) Coyoacán, in coordination with the emergency services, assisted in the rescue work for the explosion.
The Attorney General’s Office of Mexico City (PGJ CDMX) initiated an investigation to determine damages and responsibilities.