Fatal blast rocks sweets factory
Published 25/10/2013 | 03:31
An explosion inside a confectionery factory in Mexico's border city of Ciudad Juarez has left one person dead and at least 40 injured, with several workers missing.
The blast took place on the second floor of the Dulces Blueberry factory and caused the floor to collapse, injuring people working downstairs, said factory worker Ismael Bouchet.
"I was able to help five people who walked out of the building but as soon as they were out they went into shock and fainted," he said outside the factory, which produces gummy bears, jelly beans, peach rings and other sweets.
Authorities said the cause of the blast was not known but Mr Bouchet said a steam boiler had been installed recently in the area.
Ciudad Juarez civil protection director Fernando Mota said firefighters found a body inside and that six of the injured were in a serious condition. Several workers were missing and could be trapped inside the building, he added.
Mr Bouchet said people could smell acid in the area where the explosion occurred.
"Since the morning, several co-workers said there was a bad smell, that it smelled of acid and because it was a new area we thought it was normal," he said.
Photographs of workers being helped by paramedics showed people with injuries that resembled chemical burns.
Dulces Blueberry employs 300 people and the candy is sent to a distributor based in El Paso, Texas, which lies across the border from Ciudad Juarez.
Ciudad Juarez is a manufacturing hub and the assembly plants there employ many of its people.