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At least 39 dead after fire rips through immigrant detention facility near U.S. border

More than two dozen injured men were transported to hospitals in “delicate-serious condition,” said the National Immigration Institute in Ciudad Juarez

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In this image taken from a video, ambulances and rescue team staffers can be seen outside an immigration center in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, on Tuesday.

Photo/Associated Press

By Jessica Schladebeck
New York Daily News

CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico — A massive fire ripped through an immigrant detention center miles away from Mexico’s border with the United States, killing at least 39 people and injuring more than two dozen others.

The blaze broke out Monday night in the dormitory area of a facility run by the National Immigration Institute in Ciudad Juarez. The border city, located in Chihuahua state, is close to the Santa Fe International Bridge and across the border from El Paso, Texas.

It is a major crossing point for migrants entering the United States.

There were 68 men from Central and South America being held in the facility at the time of the fire, the agency said.

Rows of bodies were laid out beneath silver sheets outside the center while rescue teams, firefighters and local police remained on the scene on Tuesday. It marked the deadliest incident inside a Mexican immigration facility in recent history,

A total of 29 people were also injured in the fire. They were taken to four different local hospitals in “delicate-serious condition,” the agency said.

The cause of the fire was not immediately known. Mexico’s attorney general has initiated a formal investigation, and investigators were already on the scene. The government’s National Human Rights Commission was also called to provide assistance to those affected by the fire.

The immigration institute in a statement said it “energetically rejects the actions that led to this tragedy” but did not provide further details.

With News Wire Services

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