UPDATE: 27 dead, 80 hurt as explosion destroys fireworks market - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UPDATE: 27 dead, 80 hurt as explosion destroys fireworks market outside Mexico City

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(CNN) -

UPDATE: 

by NBC NEWS and THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

An explosion blasted Mexico's best-known fireworks market on the northern outskirts of the capital Tuesday, killing over two dozen people and injuring scores more while sending a huge plume of charcoal-gray smoke into the sky, officials said.

The explosion, which was not being linked to terrorism, happened at the open-air San Pablito Market in Tultepec, in the State of Mexico.

"The death toll increases to 27 dead and more than 80 injured. The most critical are being transported by helicopter to various hospitals," Tultepec emergency services said in a Facebook post.

Puente said some nearby homes were also damaged. The scene remained dangerous and he asked people not to come within 3 miles to avoid danger or hampering the emergency response. Puente added that there was no choice but to let any unexploded fireworks burn off.

A fire engulfed the same market in 2005, touching off a chain of explosions that leveled hundreds of stalls just ahead of Mexico's Independence Day. A similar fire at the San Pablito Market also destroyed hundreds of stands in September 2006.

Many in Mexico traditionally celebrate holidays — including Christmas and New Year's — by setting off noisy firecrackers and rockets.

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At least nine people were killed in an explosion Tuesday at a large fireworks market in Tultepec, according to a tweet from Mexico's federal police. Tultepec is about 25 miles north of Mexico City.

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An explosion Tuesday at a large fireworks market near Mexico City injured at least 60 people, Luis Felipe Puente, coordinator of Mexico's national civil protection agency, told CNN affiliate FOROtv.

The explosion took place in Tultepec, about 40 kilometers (about 25 miles) north of Mexico City, where pyrotechnics are a major industry. Emergency responders are at the scene and assessing the damage, Puente said.

Video from the explosion showed plumes of smoke in the air. Sirens could be heard in the background.

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