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Mexican officials resign after day care center fire

Two state government officials whose wives are owners of a Mexican day care center where 44 children died in a fire resigned on Tuesday, saying they wanted to clear the way for an investigation into the blaze.

Antonio Salido, finance director for Sonora state’s infrastructure department, and Alfonso Escalante, the assistant secretary for livestock, announced their resignations at a joint news conference accompanied by their wives.

A fire that started at a neighboring warehouse swiftly spread to the ABC day care center in Hermosillo on Friday, killing 44 children and injuring 38 children and adults.

Salido said the day care center had three clearly marked emergency exits and strictly followed safety rules established by the Mexican Social Security Institute, which outsourced child services to them.

Witnesses have said that no fire alarm or sprinkler system went off, and one mother said there was only one exit and that a second door to the day care was bolted shut.

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The private facility — leased by the government to provide people low-cost service — cared for 173 children in a converted warehouse surrounded by mechanic shops and across from a gas station, officials said. About 50 children had left before the fire started.

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