Death toll in Mexico day care fire rises to 31

June 7th, 2009 - 5:00 am ICT by IANS  

Mexico City, June 7 (EFE) The death toll in the day care centre fire in northwestern Mexico has risen to 31, authorities said Saturday.
The fire broke out Friday afternoon at a tire depot in Hermosillo, the capital of Sonora state, and quickly spread to the neighbouring building housing ABC day care, part of the country’s Social Security network.

The prosecutor’s office in Sonora said that 27 victims have been identified, and most of them were died of asphyxiation. Others perished as a result of first- and second-degree burns.

Close to 30 other minors were taken for treatment at different hospitals in the city, located 1,959 km northwest of the Mexican capital.

Many parents looked desperately Friday night for their children at hospitals in the city as identification of the dead and injured was made difficult by the fact the victims were babies and toddlers.

Authorities have not yet officially determined the cause of the fire.

State authorities said that some 60 minors and five employees were inside the day care when the blaze erupted at around 3:00 p.m., although unofficial sources put the number at 150 babies and toddlers.

President Felipe Calderon and Sonora Governor Eduardo Bours ordered investigators to probe the causes of the fire and determine if there were any criminal violations.

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