An explosion ripped through Mexico’s fireworks market on the northern outskirts of the capital on Tuesday killing at least 27 people and injuring 70 others, emergency officials said.

The blast occurred at the San Pablito fireworks market in Tultepec, about 20 miles (32 kilometres) north of Mexico City.

Isidro Sanchez, the head of Tultepec emergency services, said the death toll was preliminary as rescue workers scoured the site.

Images broadcast by local media showed smoke rising from the scorched ground and fireworks stands.

National Civil Protection Coordinator Luis Felipe Puente told a local TV that some nearby homes were also damaged by the explosion.

A local resident, Alejandra Pretel, said: “The sound of blasts started to go off and we thought it was a nearby fireworks workshop.”

But minutes later it became evident that it was the market being destroyed.

“My neighbours said they felt everything shake, but I didn’t realize because I was running away,” she said.

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