8 Jun 2009

Deaths rise to 41 in day-care blaze

8:27 am on 8 June 2009

The death toll from a fire at a day-care center in Mexico is now 41 children. A dozen more are fighting for their lives in hospital.

Smoke inhalation killed many children: their ages ranged from a few months to three years.

Some severely burnt children have been flown to specialist hospitals.

The government says more than 140 children were in the ABC day-care center in the northern city of Hermosillo when the fire broke out on Friday. It is unclear where or how the fire started.

President Felipe Calderon has ordered an investigation.

The head of the agency responsible for health care and social security said on Saturday the centre had passed its last government inspection in May.

Pope Benedict has sent condolences to the victims' families in a letter to the archbishop of Hermosillo.