39 Dead in Fire at Mexico Migrant Center Near US: Official

MEXICO CITY (AP) -- A fire broke out at an immigration detention center in northern Mexico near the U.S. border, leaving more than three dozen migrants dead, a Mexican official said Tuesday.

Hours after the fire broke out late Monday, rows of bodies were laid out under shimmery silver sheets outside the facility in Ciudad Juarez, across from El Paso, Texas. Ambulances, firefighters and vans from the morgue swarmed the scene.

Thirty-nine people died and 29 were injured, according to an official with the National Immigration Institute, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the case.

Ciudad Juarez is a major crossing point for migrants entering the United States. Its shelters are full of migrants waiting for opportunities to cross or who have requested asylum in the United States and are waiting out the process.

Mexico's attorney general's office has launched an inquiry and has investigators at the scene, according to media reports.