Mexico fireworks market: Stories of the survivors

At least 35 people are now confirmed dead and dozens of others were hurt.

mexico-fireworks-market

(CNN) – The death toll has risen again after the massive explosion at a fireworks market in Mexico. At least 35 people are now confirmed dead and dozens of others were hurt.

Seeing something like this can be tough to watch. For Miguel Urban, seeing this video is too much. He can’t watch the entire video and he doesn’t need to. He was there.

So Miguel is telling me that he thought he was dead. But thanks god that he wasn’t. When Miguel heard the explosion Tuesday afternoon, his instinct told him to run, but he couldn’t leave behind his 84-year-old mother.

He went to help her and that’s when, as they were getting out together, something struck him in the arm his mother then fell down. Struck by debris-they waited for rescue together and he remembers thinking his single mother never abandoned him.

This time he was not about to abandon her and then his nephew and some other coworkers came and they had to take him out carrying him and his mother as well-she’s in the hospital in stable condition.

The two had been selling fireworks as one of hundreds of vendors in the famous San Pablito firework market just north of Mexico City. Days ago, state officials called it one of the safest in Latin America, yet he lived through blasts that rocked the market in 2005 and 2006.

I’m asking if he would go back to work and he says yes, that is what they live off of and that’s the industry in which they will keep working. He lives just a mile away from the fireworks market.

This is a market that distributes about a hundred tons of fireworks annually. This industry, he explains, defines who they are-who he is.

His family depends on it. He plans to continue this life once he can overcome the physical pain and the emotional pain. He says he’s crying not only for himself but for the lives that were lost and for all the injured he saw there beyond himself.

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