Mexico fireworks blast death toll rises to 14

Mexico City, Mar 16 (EFE).- The death toll from a fireworks explosion in the central Mexican state of Tlaxcala has risen to 14, authorities said Saturday.

The state government said in a statement that nine people died at the site of the accident in the village of Jesus Tepactepec - eight men and one woman - while five others seriously injured in the blast, including one child, passed away in area hospitals.

Through Friday night, 14 people were listed as dead and 153 others as injured. Some 84 people had been released from hospital because they did not require further medical attention.

The authorities confirmed that the explosion occurred when a firework rocket launched during a religious procession landed on a pick-up truck being used to transport the rest of the pyrotechnic material.

The blast came as scores of people were walking through the streets of Jesus Tepactepec, carrying religious icons and performing ritual dances in connection with the feast of a local patron saint.

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto expressed his condolences to the families of the victims on Twitter: "I regret the terrible accident in Tlaxcala. My sympathy to the families of those who died."

Tlaxcala Gov. Mariano Gonzalez declared three days of mourning.