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After tragedy, city reins in fireworks permits

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Military officials explain proper handling of fireworks. Photo: Handout

Mérida, Yucatán — The markets begin selling fireworks today, but in light of the tragedy at Tultepec’s fireworks market, officials are on edge.

Dozens were killed in a massive series of explosions Tuesday in a fireworks market north of Mexico City.

Officials here are warning that vendors selling pyrotechnics will be monitored closely with a no-tolerance approach to scofflaws

Fireworks of all kinds are popular among families here at Christmas and New Year’s.

The Army and Air Force are tasked with monitoring the fireworks trade in Mexico, and they promise to work with local and state police to prevent unregulated sales. 

Under the law, authorized sellers may sell up to 10 kilograms of such materials to individuals without permission.

But the city is reducing the number of vendors authorized to sell pyrotechnics in San Benito and Lucas de Galvéz markets. Last year, 500 permits were handed out; this year, that’s cut to 400. Kiosks must be eight meters apart under municipal code.

Moreover, the city will demand — as they have in the past — that sales people but be able-bodied and wear cotton as opposed to a flammable synthetic fabric. Minors and pregnant women are banned from selling, and booths must be equipped with fire extinguishers and no-smoking signs.

Sellers also must wear color-coded photo ID  to prove they are authorized to dispense fireworks. The ID also prevent sellers from moving their merchandise to other areas of Mérida.

Sales begin today through Dec. 23-24 and 29-31.

To anonymously report illegal fireworks sales, call 985 856 3912 or email denuncia.32zm@mail.sedena.gob.mx.

Sources: Desde el Balcón, Diario de Yucatán, Press Release

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