mexico fireworks blast cnn orig_00002919.jpg
Video captures Mexico's fireworks explosion
01:00 - Source: CNN

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Families search for missing loved ones after Mexico fireworks blast kills at least 33 people

Family members made flyers and came to the market hoping to find the missing

Tultepec, Mexico CNN  — 

Jorge Avalos Miranda fears his missing mother’s body lies among the rubble left by massive explosions at a fireworks market near Mexico City.

“I been looking for her in hospitals. They can’t find her there. She is not registered anywhere,” he told CNN on Wednesday. “I am so worried about my mother.”

Miranda said his 72-year-old mother, Gloria Miranda Viquez, was working at her fireworks stall at the San Pablito market in Tultepec when explosions tore through the area Tuesday, killing at least 33 people. Miranda’s two brothers, who also work at the market, are alive.

A day after the devastating blasts, some family members, like Miranda, searched for missing loved ones. They trekked from hospital to hospital and stood outside the market holding flyers they made after their searches came up empty.

“We checked the morgue. They said they hadn’t seen anyone fitting her description,” Miranda said of his mother, who has worked at the market for 20 years.

The blasts injured dozens in the city about 40 kilometers (25 miles) north of Mexico City that touts itself as the county’s fireworks capital. About 10 of the roughly 300 stalls that made up the market remained standing Wednesday.

Authorities haven’t said what caused the explosions.

Firefighters work amid the debris of the blast at the San Pablito market near Mexico City

Officials are trying to determine whether 12 people reported missing are among the dead or are being treated at local hospitals. On Wednesday cadaver dogs searched the market, which is the size of a soccer stadium.

Some people managed to escape – but were forced to leave family members behind.

Concepcion Hernandez Baez said her niece, who is seven months pregnant, made it out. Baez’s brother and mother, who is a business owner, are missing. They had gone to the market on the morning of the explosions to look for merchandise, she said.

Baez said her niece found shelter and waited for the danger to pass.

“She told us that she waited inside a bathroom during the explosion, and that when everything finished she took a taxi and went home.”

Baez held a photo of missing family member in each hand.

On Wednesday, investigators combed through the site, where bodies rested side by side, covered in ash and dust. Sobbing, Baez said: “There are bodies that are unrecognizable.”

Sara Sidner and Leyla Santiago reported from Tultepec. Darran Simon wrote from Atlanta. CNN’s Kiarinna Parisi contributed to this report.