Blasts in fireworks market kill six in Venezuela | india | Hindustan Times
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Blasts in fireworks market kill six in Venezuela

india Updated: Dec 25, 2006 11:28 IST
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Explosions ripped through dozens of fireworks stalls at an outdoor market in the Venezuelan city of Maracaibo, killing six people and injuring 54 others.

Four deaths were initially reported in the blasts late on Sunday, but Maracaibo fire chief John Bravo said on Monday that the death toll had risen to six, including one boy.

Bravo said 54 people were treated for injuries, none serious.

The strong blasts were felt several blocks away, and terrified people were seen running for cover while a column of smoke rose from the market. Firefighters extinguished the exploding stocks of fireworks late on Sunday.

Fireworks are a major part of Christmas and New Year's celebrations in Venezuela, with exploding rockets blending into colorful displays in the skies over the capital of Caracas and Maracaibo, the country's second largest city.

Sales of fireworks are regulated by the authorities, and Maracaibo Mayor Gian Carlo Di Martino said the vendors in the market had permits.