Seven officials detained over deadly Mexico daycare blaze

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Jun 23 2009 07:17 AM | Updated as of Jun 23 2009 03:17 PM

MEXICO CITY - Mexican prosecutors have detained seven state officials for negligent homicide in a daycare fire that killed 47 children in northern Mexico, a top official said Monday.

Sonora State Attorney General Abel Murrieta told a news conference that the seven officials worked for the state's finance department, which operated the warehouse in Hermosillo where the June 5 fire broke out, before spreading to the adjacent daycare center.

State authorities are currently investigating 13 people and one more could be investigated by federal authorities, Murrieta said, according to a statement.

The death toll from the blaze that shocked Mexico more than two weeks ago rose by one to 47 late Sunday after a three-year-old girl died from wounds in hospital, authorities said.

Some 30 children and staff were injured in the blaze, and several are still in hospital.

Officials have said the fire may have been caused by a short circuit or overheating in the air conditioning system in the neighboring warehouse.

Mexico's Social Security Institute, which oversaw the center, said Sunday that it would file a civil lawsuit against the Sonora state government and the daycare owners for negligence.

Thousands demonstrated in Hermosillo at the weekend calling for those responsible for the fire to be punished.