29 children killed in Mexico fire (Lead)

June 6th, 2009 - 10:07 am ICT by IANS  

Mexico City, June 6 (DPA) At least 29 children were killed Friday in a fire at a day care centre in Mexico’s northwest city of Hermosillo, officials said.
The victims, aged three months to two years, had been staying in a day care centre next to a tire dealership that had caught on fire. The flames jumped to the neighbouring child care facility, officials told DPA.

More than 50 of the estimated 120 children at the centre were hospitalized, Jose Larrinaga, the spokesman of the office of the Judge Advocate General in the state of Sonant, said.

“The current death count is 29 children, most of them died by asphyxia,” Lrrinaga said.

Hermosillo is about 1,900 km north of Mexico City.

The fire began about 3 p.m. (2200 GMT) and leapt quickly to the ABC Day Care Centre, operated by the social insurance agency.

The cause of the fire was yet to be determined.

Parents desperately searched for their children in the chaos.

Civil rescue authorities said they did not have an exact number of children and caretakers who were in the centre at the time of the fire.

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