Fifth worker dies after candy factory blast

 UPDATE: A fifth worker has died from injuries suffered in the explosion, according to a report by El Diario de Juárez. Bonifacio Minjares Vázquez died Saturday morning at a Juárez hospital. He had suffered trauma and burns to 20 percent of his body, the newspaper said.

EARLIER: Border candy factory explodes in Juárez

Rio Grande Digital

A fourth victim of the Juárez candy factory explosion, Juan García Colohua, 35, has died in a Guadalajara hospital. Garcia was flown to the hospital on Sunday to receive specialized care for burns he suffered in the Thursday blast, according to Juarez media reports. His death brings to four the death toll.

Eight workers remain hospitalized in Guadalajara and Chihuahua city as well as Juárez. Meanwhile, Juárez Mayor Enrique Serrano Escobar has urged people not to demonize the company, Sunrise Confections. “No employer wants workers to die,” Serrano said, adding that the company has been responsive to authorities and attentive to the needs of workers and their families.

Also known locally as Blueberry, the plant is one of two Juárez factories that manufacture popular candies for large U.S. retailers, including the Real Annoying Orange Treats and Plants vs. Zombies gummies pitched during the Halloween season.

The plants are owned by Mount Franklin Foods, LLC of El Paso. Growing out of the historic border pecan industry, Mount Franklin Foods also runs a nut processing plant and corporate distribution center in El Paso. Among the owners is Chihuahua city businessman Eloy Vallina, a developer of projects at the San Jeronimo-Santa Teresa border crossing. Vallina reportedly has varied business interests on both sides of the border.

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