A subway overpass collapsed Monday evening in Mexico City, sending the vehicles of a passenger prepare plunging to the bottom and killing a minimum of 23 folks and injuring 70 others.CreditCredit…Hector Vivas/Getty Images

MEXICO CITY — A metro overpass collapsed late Monday in Mexico City, sending the vehicles of a prepare filled with passengers plunging to the bottom and killing a minimum of 23 folks, together with youngsters, the town’s mayor stated.

Emergency employees scrambled to a scene the place tilted prepare vehicles lay amid tangled wires and twisted steel, pulling dozens of individuals from the wreckage and transporting greater than 70 folks to hospitals with accidents.

Dramatic video of the incident confirmed the overpass instantly collapsing in a bathe of sparks, sending up a cloud of particles as one of many prepare vehicles smashed right into a car on the highway under.

In the chaotic aftermath, determined family flocked to the scene for information of their family members, whereas others scoured metropolis hospitals in hopes of discovering their members of the family.

“I’m looking for my son,” the mom of a 13-year-old boy informed an area tv station by tears. “He was on the subway — I can’t find him.”

Many households have been directed to the Belisario Dominguez Hospital, a few quarter of a mile away, the place they waited for updates on the victims.

Floodlights illuminated the collapsed bridge as search and rescue groups tried to search out survivors within the rubble. Ambulances, firefighters, the army and Mexico’s forensic division got here and went from the scene whereas a helicopter hovered overhead as daybreak broke.

By dawn on Tuesday, the seek for survivors had largely became a restoration operation, with 4 of the victims’ our bodies nonetheless trapped within the wreckage, in response to authorities officers.

“It is sad news,” stated President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who vowed {that a} thorough investigation could be carried out. “We send our condolences to the families of the victims of this accident.”

The crash occurred at 10:22 p.m. on one of many metropolis’s latest stretches of observe, Line 12, which was inaugurated in 2012. Local residents had expressed concern concerning the structural integrity of the overpass, together with cracks within the concrete, after a robust earthquake devastated elements of the town in September 2017.

Hernando Manon, 42, who lives within the space, was on his approach residence from work when he noticed sparks gentle up the evening sky and the prepare come crashing down.

He stated that he was one in every of many individuals who had seen cracks within the concrete after the earthquake. Although the cracks appeared to have been eliminated, he stated, he didn’t know the extent of any repairs.

Local officers didn’t deal with particular considerations within the speedy aftermath of Monday’s accident, however Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum stated that upkeep was carried out on the prepare line each day. The system as a complete has been affected by issues lately.

“At this moment, we can’t speculate about what happened,” Ms. Sheinbaum told reporters early Tuesday. “There has to be a deep investigation, and whoever is responsible has to be held responsible.”

In the meantime, she stated, Line 12 would stay closed because the authorities examine the reason for the accident. Mexico City Metro advised people to keep away from the realm.

Ms. Sheinbaum didn’t rule out the potential for additional incidents on the broken prepare line, and stated that the avenue that runs under the road could be shut down throughout an investigation.

Marcelo Ebrard, Mexico’s international minister, referred to as the crash a “terrible tragedy” in a Twitter post late Monday. “Of course, the causes should be investigated and the responsibilities for it defined.”

Mr. Ebrard was mayor of Mexico City from 2006 to 2012, when the brand new line was constructed, and accusations of poor development and planning emerged nearly as quickly because it was opened. The line was closed briefly in 2013 for repairs.

Hundreds of cops and firefighters cordoned off the scene on Tuesday morning as family and mates of individuals believed to have been on the prepare gathered outdoors the safety perimeter to hunt data.

Emergency workers moving an injured person on a stretcher.
Credit…Pedro Pardo/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The crash was so sudden, witnesses stated, that there was hardly time to scream.

One second, passengers have been zipping alongside an elevated stretch of observe on Mexico City’s Golden Line, after which the ground fell out from beneath them.

“It happened really suddenly,” one lady informed the Mexican newspaper El Universal. “I fell into everyone else. Everyone fell into everyone.”

Hernando Manon, 42, was strolling residence from work when he felt a tremor and heard a loud crash a number of hundred yards up the road.

“There was a rumbling and then sparks. The lights went out, and we didn’t know what happened. Then we heard the sirens,” Mr. Manon stated. “As we approached, we realized that the subway had collapsed.”

Surveillance footage confirmed the second the overpass got here crashing down onto the road, sending the prepare plunging to the bottom in a cloud of mud and particles.

“I heard an explosion — we thought it was a stationary gas tank,” one resident, Eduardo García, informed Univision Noticias, a Spanish-language media outlet, including that he had been taking part in soccer on the time. Mr. García stated he had instantly begun operating, earlier than seeing a number of ambulances.

Enrique Bonilla, 57, who was on the prepare on the time of the crash, informed the tv community Televisa that he had felt a sudden motion and heard a loud sound because the bridge was collapsing. He stated that folks had fallen on high of each other, and that he had vomited. Mr. Bonilla was in a position to seize onto a pole and, afterward, to flee by a damaged window, he stated, sitting on the bottom after the crash.

It was throughout in seconds, Mr. Bonilla added. “Thank God I came out alive.”

An overpass in Mexico City collapsed on Monday evening, sending a packed prepare plummeting to the road, killing and injuring scores of individuals.

Concerns about the structural integrity of the stretch of tracks where Monday’s accident occurred had been raised since a strong earthquake struck Mexico in 2017.
Credit…Pedro Pardo/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The subway system in Mexico City, the nation’s sprawling capital, handles greater than 4 million passengers a day and is the second-largest within the Americas, after New York City’s. And when it was inaugurated in 1969, adorned with Aztec artifacts and Maya-style friezes, it was the delight of a nation.

But lately it has grow to be an emblem of city decay.

There was concern over the integrity of the elevated tracks and help columns on the stretch of tracks the place Monday’s accident occurred after a powerful earthquake hit Mexico in September 2017.

The elevated infrastructure on the subway line — often called Line 12, or the Golden Line — was broken, El Universal newspaper reported.

Later that month, some native residents told El Universal that they feared that the broken infrastructure may collapse. The newspaper reported on the time {that a} column between the Olivos and Nopalera stations had suffered structural injury. It additionally reported that engineers have been to conduct an ultrasound survey of the reinforcing metal in 300 columns alongside Line 12’s elevated portion.

It was not instantly clear what work had been carried out to handle the security considerations. But there was a broad decline of the system lately.

The Golden Line, the place Monday’s accident occurred, was opened in 2012 and is the most recent within the system. Yet from the outset, it has been beset by issues.

Trains operating over elevated elements of the observe needed to decelerate for concern they could derail. And simply 17 months after the $2 billion line was inaugurated, the town suspended service on a big a part of it.

Service was later restored, however considerations concerning the system as a complete have grown.

Last month, one of many capital’s 12 subway strains shut down after a observe fireplace. And in January, a fire ripped through the metro’s downtown headquarters, killing a police officer and sending 30 others to hospital with smoke inhalation. Six subway strains have been briefly knocked offline.

Opposition events blamed an absence of upkeep for the inferno, and the conservative National Action Party filed a legal grievance towards Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum and the pinnacle of the Mexico City subway.

In March 2020, one individual was killed and a minimum of 41 others have been injured when two subway trains collided in Mexico City. Ms. Sheinbaum stated on the time that one of many trains had apparently backed into the opposite. Video of the wreckage confirmed that the power of the collision had left one of many trains caught on high of the opposite, according to Reuters.

The subsequent month on the Misterios station, a railway coupler — a mechanism used for becoming a member of prepare vehicles — fractured en path to its vacation spot. Although that incident resulted in no deaths, employees requested for extra security measures, El Universal reported.

Another derailment in 2018 despatched shock waves by a suburb of Mexico City. A prepare carrying cargo ran off the tracks, and one in every of its vehicles crashed right into a home, killing 5 folks.

The most up-to-date severe accident occurred in 2015, when a collision between two trains left 12 folks useless. In 1975, one other prepare collision on the Viaducto station killed 31 folks and left greater than 70 injured, according to El Universal.

After the 2015 accident, the German-based firm TÜV Rheinland was employed to look at the circumstances which may have induced it and counsel enhancements to expertise. The firm completed its work in 2017 and was not concerned in wanting into the energy of present buildings, a spokesman stated.

“TÜV Rheinland supervised the development of improvement measures to remedy technical problems in systems engineering,” stated the spokesman, Jörg Meyer. “Our activities at that time were not related to bridge infrastructure.”

Mexico City’s mayor, Claudia Sheinbaum, center left, in March.
Credit…Cristian Leyva/NurPhoto, through Getty Images

Their rivalry has lengthy been a topic of hypothesis by pundits, and on Tuesday, two of Mexico’s brightest political stars have been within the highlight for all of the fallacious causes.

After the lethal subway prepare crash in Mexico City, public anger on Tuesday turned towards the town’s mayor, Claudia Sheinbaum, and a former mayor who’s now Mexico’s international minister, Marcelo Ebrard.

Both are broadly seen as attainable successors to President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

“Absolutely nothing will be hidden,” Mr. López Obrador stated at a information convention on Tuesday morning. “The people of Mexico must know the whole truth.”

But even because the president spoke, the political fallout was evident at his information convention. Both Ms. Sheinbaum and Mr. Ebrard confronted harsh questioning from reporters: she for the attainable failure to detect faults that led to the lethal crash, and he for overseeing the development of a subway line affected by accusations of mismanagement and corruption.

Publicly, a minimum of, the 2 political heavyweights introduced a united entrance.

“We are in agreement to get to the bottom of this and work together to find the truth and know what caused this incident,” stated Ms. Sheinbaum, who prevented blaming any authorities figures for the accident.

Mr. Ebrard, requested whether or not he feared being held finally answerable for the tragic accident, denied any wrongdoing and stated he would cooperate with the investigation.

“If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear,” he stated. “Like anyone else, I am subject to whatever the authorities determine, but even more so as a high-level official, as someone who promoted the construction of the line.”

Mr. Ebrard was mayor of Mexico City from 2006 to 2012, and the subway line, often called the Golden Line, was one of many landmark tasks of his administration.

The crash occurred a month earlier than legislative elections that the governing celebration, often called Morena, is anticipated to dominate. Mr. López Obrador has a excessive approval ranking all through the nation however is much less standard in Mexico City.

Ms. Sheinbaum and Mr. Ebrard are each members of Morena, and each are vying to succeed Mr. López Obrador as president when his time period ends in 2024.

Mr. López Obrador, who campaigned on enhancing Mexico’s infrastructure, has spearheaded formidable public transportation tasks since taking workplace in 2018, together with practically 1,000 miles of railway stretching throughout Mexico. He has sought to create a legacy by a number of landmark tasks and, quickly after taking workplace, stopped the development of a half-built airport {that a} rival celebration had began to construct for Mexico City.

Even although the development was superior and the federal government had spent billions of {dollars} on the airport, Mr. López Obrador scrapped it to construct one other airport at a special location, reimagining the venture in his title.

Yet the president’s flashy tasks have come on the expense of extra pressing wants, together with water infrastructure issues in a rustic more and more burdened by droughts and Mexico City’s subway system, a key mode of transportation for the sprawling capital’s inhabitants of practically 22 million.

Mexican rescue personnel removing a victim’s body from the train wreck.
Credit…Marco Ugarte/Associated Press

Hours after the collapse, rescue employees scrambled early Tuesday to free folks trapped contained in the tangle of crushed steel and collapsed concrete, which was all that also stood on the web site the place the prepare overpass had crumbled.

Dozens searched rigorously among the many particles, some utilizing steel ladders to climb by the home windows of the prepare vehicles to tug folks to security. Various folks have been taken from the scene on stretchers because the police, emergency employees and a few volunteers labored by the evening. The rescues had been halted briefly round midnight because the prepare dangled precariously, however have been restarted after it was secured.

A tearful mom, recognized solely as Elísabet, informed the tv channel Azteca Noticias that she was trying to find her 13-year-old son, who had been out with others within the metropolis middle and was on the metro, about to come back residence. “I spoke five minutes ago with him,” she stated between sobs. “He said that he was about to arrive.” She begged the authorities to “give me back my son.”

After the crash, dozens of family crowded across the crash web site, voicing their frustration to native reporters about not having the ability to get nearer and assist get their family members out of the particles.

Immediately after the crash, a video showed members of the community, many carrying masks due to the coronavirus pandemic, helping the injured. Three males might be seen carrying one other younger man away from the positioning of the wreckage. Another man hobbled from the scene, bracing himself on one other man’s arm.

Others handed out water and child wipes to assist clear the faces of those that had rushed into assist.

Shortly earlier than 2 a.m., the Brigada de Rescate Topos Tlaltelolco said that a minimum of 5 folks remained trapped and that search and rescue employees have been utilizing a 200-ton crane to help their efforts. But a short while later, authorities’s civil safety authorities indicated that there were no longer people trapped in the rubble.

Images from the scene confirmed the crane lifting one of many subway vehicles barely from the collapsed roadway under to permit emergency employees to proceed trying to find anybody who was injured or trapped.

Speaking from the scene, Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum stated that one individual had been pulled from a automotive trapped on the roadway under the collapsed rail line. At least 70 injured folks had been taken to the hospital.

An eight-second video that captured the second of collapse confirmed average site visitors flowing on both aspect of the suspended bridge when instantly it cracked and buckled in a burst of concrete and sparks, falling between the lanes of vehicles.

Another video taken a couple of minutes later confirmed a handful of cops and volunteers utilizing development ladders arrange towards the aspect of the prepare to assist folks down — together with a number of who have been hobbling and practically unable to stroll.

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