Saturday, June 6, 2009
35 children were killed and more than 40 were injured in a fire which roared through the ABC child care center in Hermosillo, Mexico on Friday afternoon. Among the injured were six adults, most who have yet to be identified. Over twenty other children have been hospitalized with burns. They have been transported to local hospitals and other medical facilities in the United States.
Neighbors, employees and firefighters broke walls to rescue unconscious children and babies from the fire in the converted warehouse building which was equipped with only one exit.
Three air ambulances, medical equipment and fifteen burn specialists were dispatched to the scene where children between the ages of six months and five years old perished from smoke inhalation. The majority of the injured and killed were under three years of age, said government officials.
Red Cross rescue workers say that 100 children were being cared for when the fire broke out. Sonora state Gov. Eduardo Bours confirmed that 142 children were in the child care center. Already, 27 of the 31 child fatalities have been identified, as parents continue to await news on their children.
Preliminary reports state that the fire may have started in the neighboring tire and car warehouse and spread to the childcare center. President of Mexico Felipe Calderón has placed the attorney general, Eduardo Medina-Mora in charge of the investigation into the cause of the blaze.
Mexico’s Social Security Institute also sent out resources to their privately run facility.
Hermosillo, population of over 700,000, is the capital of the Mexican state of Sonora 167 miles (269 km) from the American border.