A fire broke out at an immigration detention facility in northern Mexico near the US border, killing at least 39 people and injuring 29 others, according to local media reports.
The blaze occurred late Monday at a facility in Ciudad Juarez, across the border from El Paso, Texas. Images from the scene showed rows of bodies lying under shimmery silver sheets outside the facility. Ambulances, firefighters and vans from the morgue could also be seen.
The facility was housing migrants who were waiting for opportunities to cross the border or who had requested asylum in the United States and were waiting out the process.
The cause of the fire is still unknown. Mexico’s attorney general’s office has launched an inquiry and has investigators at the scene, according to media reports.
The incident has sparked outrage and grief among human rights groups and migrant advocates, who have called for an investigation and accountability.
The fire has also raised questions about Mexico’s immigration policy and its cooperation with the United States on border security. Mexico has faced pressure from the US to stop the flow of migrants from Central America and other regions, who have been fleeing violence, poverty and persecution.