VIDEO: Mexico City metro overpass collapses onto road, leaving 23 dead

Mexico City fire fighters and rescue personnel work to recover victims from a subway car that fell after a section of Line 12 of the subway collapsed in Mexico City, Monday, May 3, 2021. The section passing over a road in southern Mexico City collapsed Monday night, dropping a subway train, trapping cars and causing at least 50 injuries, authorities said. (AP Photo/Jose Ruiz)Mexico City fire fighters and rescue personnel work to recover victims from a subway car that fell after a section of Line 12 of the subway collapsed in Mexico City, Monday, May 3, 2021. The section passing over a road in southern Mexico City collapsed Monday night, dropping a subway train, trapping cars and causing at least 50 injuries, authorities said. (AP Photo/Jose Ruiz)
Media stand at a police barricade barring access to the scene of a subway car that fell after a section of Line 12 of the subway collapsed in Mexico City, Wednesday, May 4, 2021. The section passing over a road in southern Mexico City collapsed Monday night, dropping a subway train, trapping cars and causing at least 50 injuries, authorities said. (AP Photo/Eduardo Castillo)Media stand at a police barricade barring access to the scene of a subway car that fell after a section of Line 12 of the subway collapsed in Mexico City, Wednesday, May 4, 2021. The section passing over a road in southern Mexico City collapsed Monday night, dropping a subway train, trapping cars and causing at least 50 injuries, authorities said. (AP Photo/Eduardo Castillo)
Mexico’s army soldiers hold stretchers as they wait to help in the rescue efforts after a section of Line 12 of the subway collapsed in Mexico City, Tuesday, May 4, 2021. The section passing over a road in southern Mexico City collapsed Monday night, dropping a subway train, trapping cars and causing at least 50 injuries, authorities said. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)Mexico’s army soldiers hold stretchers as they wait to help in the rescue efforts after a section of Line 12 of the subway collapsed in Mexico City, Tuesday, May 4, 2021. The section passing over a road in southern Mexico City collapsed Monday night, dropping a subway train, trapping cars and causing at least 50 injuries, authorities said. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
Mexico City’s subway cars lay at an angle after a section of Line 12 of the subway collapsed in Mexico City, Tuesday, May 4, 2021. The section passing over a road in southern Mexico City collapsed Monday night, dropping a subway train, trapping cars and causing at least 50 injuries, authorities said. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)Mexico City’s subway cars lay at an angle after a section of Line 12 of the subway collapsed in Mexico City, Tuesday, May 4, 2021. The section passing over a road in southern Mexico City collapsed Monday night, dropping a subway train, trapping cars and causing at least 50 injuries, authorities said. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
Rescue personnel retrieve bodies from the scene of an accident where subway cars fell after a section of Line 12 of the subway collapsed in Mexico City, Tuesday, May 4, 2021. The section passing over a road in southern Mexico City collapsed Monday night, dropping a subway train, trapping cars and causing at least 50 injuries and several dead, authorities said. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)Rescue personnel retrieve bodies from the scene of an accident where subway cars fell after a section of Line 12 of the subway collapsed in Mexico City, Tuesday, May 4, 2021. The section passing over a road in southern Mexico City collapsed Monday night, dropping a subway train, trapping cars and causing at least 50 injuries and several dead, authorities said. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

An elevated section of the Mexico City metro collapsed and sent the train plunging toward a busy boulevard late Monday, killing at least 23 people and injuring at least 79, city officials said.

Rescuers found four bodies trapped inside a rail car that was dangling from the overpass but were unable to remove them. It was not clear if those dead were included among the 23. A crane was brought in Tuesday to lower the car down.

Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said one of the concrete beams collapsed as a subway train passed over it in one of the deadliest episodes in the history of the city’s subway system, which is among the busiest in the world.

Mexican Foreign Relations Secretary Marcelo Ebrard called the collapse “the most terrible accident we have ever had in mass transportation.” Ebrard was Mexico City’s mayor from 2006 to 2012, when the line in question was built, and the collapse could represent a major blow for him.

“The cause of the collapse of the beam must be established through an expert investigation,” Sheinbaum said.

Earlier she said someone had been pulled alive from a car that was trapped on the road below. She said 77 of the injured were hospitalized. She also said children were among the dead.

The overpass was about 5 metres (16 feet) above the road in the borough of Tlahuac, but the train ran above a concrete median strip, which apparently lessened the casualties among motorists on the road below.

The Mexico City Metro — which is among the world’s cheapest with tickets costing about 25 cents —has had at least two serious accidents since its inauguration half a century ago. In March of last year, a collision between two trains at the Tacubaya station left one passenger dead and injured 41 people. In 2015, a train that did not stop on time crashed into another at the Oceania station, injuring 12.

Hundreds of police officers and firefighters cordoned off the scene overnight as desperate friends and relatives of people believed to be on the train gathered outside the security perimeter. Despite the fact that the coronavirus situation remains serious in Mexico City, they crowded together as they waited for news.

Adrián Loa Martínez, 46, said that his mother called him to tell him that his half-brother and sister-in-law were driving when the overpass collapsed and that a beam fell onto their car.

He said that his sister-in-law was sent to a hospital, but that his half-brother José Juan Galindo was crushed and he feared he was dead. “He is down there now,” he told journalists pointing toward the site.

Gisela Rioja Castro, 43, was looking for her husband, 42-year-old Miguel Ángel Espinoza. She said that her husband always takes that train after finishing work at a store, but he never got home and had stopped answering his phone. When she heard what happened, she immediately feared the worst but has gotten no information from the authorities.

“Nobody knows anything,” she said.

The collapse occurred on the newest of the Mexico City subway’s lines, Line 12, which stretches far into the city’s south side. Like many of the city’s dozen subway lines, it runs underground through more central areas of the city of 9 million, but then runs on elevated concrete structures on the city’s outskirts.

Allegations about poor design and construction on the subway line emerged soon after the Ebrard left office as mayor. Ebrard leads Mexico’s efforts to obtain coronavirus vaccines and has been considered a potential presidential candidate in 2024 elections. The line had to be partly closed in 2013 so tracks could be repaired.

Ebrard wrote on Twitter: “What happened today on the Metro is a terrible tragedy.”

“Of course, the causes should be investigated and those responsible should be identified,” he wrote. “I repeat that I am entirely at the disposition of authorities to contribute in whatever way is necessary.”

On Tuesday, Ebrard appeared at President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s daily news conference, saying, “I share the indignation that exists.”

It was not clear whether a 7.1-magnitude earthquake in 2017 could have affected the subway line. There were reports that cracks had appeared in the base of at least one of the columns that support the elevated track following that quake.

The line was closed Tuesday, and hundreds of buses were called in.

E. Eduardo Castillo, The Associated Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Mexico

Just Posted

The Victoria International Airport saw its revenues plummet in 2020. Officials hope a proposed warehouse will be a significant revenue generator. (Black Press Media file photo)
Head of Victoria Airport Authority makes economic pitch for Sidney warehouse project

Geoff Dickson said Sidney stands to earn $325,000 in annual taxes

Participants take part in a previous Walk for Alzheimer’s. This year’s event is being held virtually and participants are asked to set a walking or fitness challenge during May. (Black Press Media file photo)
Greater Victoria residents invited to set fitness challenge for Alzheimer’s

IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s goes virtual during the month of May

Troy Patterson, a Cadboro Bay 15-year-old, got a virtual meeting with B.C.’s environment minister months after he started an online petition calling for construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline to stop. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
Cadboro Bay teen meets with minister after advocacy against Coastal GasLink

15-year-old Claremont student and George Heyman discussed the project for about 30 minutes

The City of Victoria hopes to improve its cultural spaces this year and it wants non-profits to help. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Grants up to $125,000 open to Victoria non-profit arts and cultural organizations

Victoria Cultural Infrastructure Grant applications close at the end of May

Sofia Watts, Charlotte Magill and Harriet Knight were among the KELSET Elementary School students releasing salmon fry into Reay Creek May 7. (Ian Bruce/Submitted)
Saanich Peninsula elementary students help restock, clean up local creeks

Salmon fry releases took place at Reay Creek and Tetayut Creek

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

A vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is seen at a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, April 22, 2021. Dr. Ben Chan remembers hearing the preliminary reports back in March of blood clots appearing in a handful of European recipients of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Science on COVID, VITT constantly changing: A look at how doctors keep up

While VITT can represent challenges as a novel disorder, blood clots themselves are not new

Poached trees that were taken recently on Vancouver Island in the Mount Prevost area near Cowichan, B.C. are shown on Sunday, May 10, 2021. Big trees, small trees, dead trees, softwoods and hardwoods have all become valuable targets of tree poachers in British Columbia as timber prices hit record levels. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne.
Tree poaching from public forests increasing in B.C. as lumber hits record prices

Prices for B.C. softwood lumber reached $1,600 for 1,000 board feet compared with about $300 a year ago

The warm weather means time for a camping trip, or at least an excursion into nature. How much do you know about camps and camping-related facts? (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: Are you ready to go camping?

How many camp and camping-related questions can you answer?

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

The first Black judge named to the BC Supreme Court, Selwyn Romilly, was handcuffed at 9:15 a.m. May 14 while walking along the seawall. (YouTube/Screen grab)
Police apologize after wrongly arresting B.C.’s first Black Supreme Court Justice

At 81 years old, the retired judge was handcuffed in public while out for a walk Friday morning

Queen Elizabeth II and Clive Holland, deputy commonwealth president of the Royal Life Saving Society, top left, virtually present Dr. Steve Beerman, top right, with the King Edward VII Cup for his drowning-prevention work. Tanner Gorille and Sarah Downs were honoured with Russell Medals for their life-saving resuscitation. (Buckingham Palace photo)
Queen presents Vancouver Island doctor with award for global drowning prevention

Dr. Steve Beerman receives Royal Life Saving Society’s King Edward VII Cup at virtual ceremony

Most Read