A fire in a dormitory at an immigration processing center in Mexico has killed 39 people and injured at least 29 others, The Associated Press reported.
The AP called it one of the deadliest incidents at an immigration center in Mexico.
Officials at the National Immigration Institute said that 68 men were being held at the center in Cuidad Juárez, which is right across the border from El Paso, Texas.
Update 9:45 a.m. EDT March 28: Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador said that the migrants inside of the facility set fire to mattresses to protest after finding out that they were going to be deported, the AP reported.
“They never imagined that this would cause this terrible misfortune,” the president said, calling it unfortunate, the AP reported.
In addition to migrants from Venezuela, there were also people from Guatemala and Honduras being held at the facility, Reuters reported.
Original report: It started just after immigration officials transported about 71 migrants from the city streets on Monday, according to CNN.
Those who were injured in the fire were taken to area hospitals for treatment, USA Today reported.
The AP reported that shelters in the city are filled with migrants trying to cross into the U.S. or have requested asylum as they await their processing.
Mexico’s attorney general’s office has already started an inquiry into what caused the fire and investigators were on the scene early Tuesday morning, USA Today reported.
The cause of the fire, nor the victims’ nationalities have been released, CNN reported. Witnesses, however, said that most of the migrants at the center were from Venezuela.