A deadly fire ripped through a day-care center in the northwestern state of Sonora, Mexico, killing at least 38 children.
President Felipe Calderón, himself the father of two young children, promptly ordered a government investigation and gave an emotional speech on Saturday in which he offered his prayers for the parents of the deceased children. “I want to express, in the name of the federal government, of all Mexicans and of me personally, our condolences to the mothers and fathers for this tragic accident,” he said.
The scene was unforgettably horrible as police officers raced to the scene in an attempt to rescue the 142 babies, toddlers and young children who were being watched by six caregivers when the fire broke out. Burnt baby clothes, charred bassinets and melted toys littered the sidewalk in the aftermath of the tragedy, and a police officer is reported to have cried out, “Where’s God?” while participating in the rescue efforts.
Officials are still uncertain as to what caused the fire at the ABC day-care center, but the fire is believed to have started at a nearby store before spreading to the center. Gov. Eduardo Bours of Sonora said that 80 of the 142 children had returned home, while 20 children remained in critical condition—those with the most severe burns were sent to the Shriners Hospital for Children in Sacramento, Calif., for treatment.