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article imageMexico convicts 10 officials in deadly day care fire

By AFP     May 14, 2016 in World

Mexico convicted and sentenced 10 government officials to prison for up to 29 years over a 2009 day care fire that killed 49 children, court sources said Saturday.

The convictions ranged from 20-29 years for negligent homicide and negligent personal harm against 38 of the 49 children plus five adults, a Sonora state court said.

The fire spread to the ABC day care center when 141 children were inside, with the only two emergency exit doors closed, killing 49 of them and injuring another 70. The preschool was under the authority of the Mexican Social Security Institute.

Local authorities said it was a tragic accident.

The official investigation concluded that the fire started when the air conditioning overheated in an adjacent paper-filled warehouse in Hermosillo, the capital of northwestern Sonora state.

But after grieving parents discovered several new pieces of contradictory evidence, the families alleged that the blaze was intentional.

They said the fire was set in the warehouse rented by the Sonora state government's treasury department in order to get rid of documents related to an $800 million state debt.

Among those convicted Saturday were the state's head of day care and the heads of firefighting and public safety, officials said.

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