MEXICO CITY — Five townspeople are dead in western Guatemala after they were electrocuted while hanging ornaments on a large, artificial outdoor Christmas tree.

The spokesman for Guatemala’s volunteer firefighters says four men and one woman died Tuesday in the hamlet of El Carmen Frontera, near the Mexico border.

Spokesman Mario Cruz says one of the victims apparently touched overhead power cables, causing electricity to surge into the metal-framed tree and electrocute the five young people. The dead were between 17 and 24 years old.

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.