Dozens dead in Mexico truck crash and blast

Dozens of people died when a trailer-truck loaded with highly flammable chemicals exploded in a road accident in northern Mexico, Mexican media reported on Monday.

The blast left a crater of up to 65 feet (20 meters) in diameter in the road in the northern state of Coahuila, the El Universal daily said on its Web site.

The paper, quoting police, said 37 people were killed when the blast erupted after the trailer-truck hit another truck. But the civil protection agency put the death toll at 25.

"Part of the trailer caught fire after the crash and that's where the explosion came from," said state Gov. Humberto Moreira.

Some 150 people were injured. Most of the people who died, including three newspaper journalists, had rushed to the scene of the crash.

"Reporters who were taking photographs died there as well as emergency workers and drivers who stopped to help," Moreira said.

The trailer-truck was carrying 25 tonnes of a derivative of the volatile ammonium nitrate chemical used for fertilizers, civil protection authorities said. The media had earlier said it had been carrying explosives.

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