Stay Updates: Mexico Metropolis Overpass Collapse Kills at Least 23

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The site where a train plunged off an overpass that partly collapsed on Monday night in Mexico City.
Credit score…Hector Vivas/Getty Photos

MEXICO CITY — A metro overpass collapsed late Monday in Mexico Metropolis, sending the vehicles of a prepare filled with passengers plunging to the bottom and killing a minimum of 23 individuals, together with kids, 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 individuals to hospitals with accidents.

Dramatic video of the incident confirmed the overpass all of the sudden collapsing in a bathe of sparks, sending up a cloud of particles as one of many prepare vehicles smashed right into a automobile on the street beneath.

Within the chaotic aftermath, determined family members 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 searching for my son,” the mom of a 13-year-old boy advised a neighborhood tv station by means of tears. “He was on the subway — I can’t discover him.”

Many households had been directed to the Belisario Dominguez Hospital, a couple of 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 navy and Mexico’s forensic division got here and went from the scene whereas a helicopter hovered overhead as daybreak broke, surveying the

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

“It’s unhappy information,” stated President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. “We ship our condolences to the households 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. Native residents had expressed concern concerning the structural integrity of the overpass, together with cracks within the concrete, after a strong earthquake devastated components of the town in September 2017.

Hernando Manon, 42, who lives within the space, was on his method house from work when he noticed sparks gentle up the night time sky and the prepare come crashing down.

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

Native officers didn’t deal with particular issues within the fast aftermath of Monday’s accident, however Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum stated that upkeep was carried out on the prepare line day by day. The system as an entire has been suffering from issues lately.

“At this second, we will’t speculate about what occurred,” Ms. Sheinbaum told reporters early Tuesday. “There needs to be a deep investigation, and whoever is accountable needs to be held accountable.”

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

Ms. Sheinbaum didn’t rule out the opportunity of additional incidents on the broken prepare line, and stated that the avenue that runs beneath the road can be shut down throughout an investigation.

Marcelo Ebrard, Mexico’s international minister, referred to as the crash a “horrible tragedy” in a Twitter post late Monday. “After all, the causes needs to be investigated and the duties for it outlined.”

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

Lots of of law enforcement officials and firefighters cordoned off the scene on Tuesday morning as family members and buddies of individuals believed to have been on the prepare gathered exterior the safety perimeter to hunt info.

Ms. Sheinbaum stated that a minimum of one particular person trapped in a automotive within the mountain of rubble had been pulled out alive and brought to the hospital.

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

Hours after the collapse, rescue employees had been nonetheless scrambling early Tuesday to free individuals 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 means of the home windows of the prepare vehicles to drag individuals to security. Quite a lot of individuals had been taken from the scene on stretchers because the police, emergency employees and a few volunteers labored by means of the night time. The rescues had been halted briefly round midnight because the prepare dangled precariously, however had been restarted after it was secured.

A tearful mom, recognized solely as Elísabet, advised 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 heart and was on the metro, about to return house. “I spoke 5 minutes in the past with him,” she stated between sobs. “He stated that he was about to reach.” She begged the authorities to “give me again my son.”

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

Instantly after the crash, a video confirmed members of the neighborhood, many carrying masks due to the coronavirus pandemic, helping the injured. Three males may very well be seen carrying one other younger man away from the positioning of the wreckage. One other 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 individuals remained trapped and that search and rescue employees had been utilizing a 200-ton crane to help their efforts. However a short while later, authorities’s civil safety authorities indicated that there were no longer people trapped in the rubble.

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

Talking from the scene, Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum stated that one particular person had been pulled from a automotive trapped on the roadway beneath the collapsed rail line. At the least 70 injured individuals had been taken to the hospital.

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 score…Pedro Pardo/Agence France-Presse — Getty Photos

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

However lately it has turn out to be a logo 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 strong earthquake hit Mexico in September 2017.

The elevated infrastructure on the subway line — generally known as Line 12, or the Golden Line — was broken, El Common newspaper reported.

Later that month, some native residents advised El Common 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 harm. It additionally reported that engineers had 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 issues. However 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 latest within the system. But from the outset, it has been beset by issues.

Trains working over elevated components of the observe needed to decelerate for concern they might 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 issues concerning the system as an entire have grown.

Final month, one of many capital’s 12 subway traces shut down after a observe hearth. And in January, a fireplace ripped by means of the metro’s downtown headquarters, killing a police officer and sending 30 others to hospital with smoke inhalation. Six subway traces had been quickly knocked offline.

Opposition events blamed an absence of upkeep for the inferno, and the conservative Nationwide Motion Get together filed a legal criticism in opposition to Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum and the top of the Mexico Metropolis subway.

In March 2020, one particular person was killed and a minimum of 41 others had been injured when two subway trains collided in Mexico Metropolis. Ms. Sheinbaum stated on the time that one of many trains had apparently backed into the opposite. Video of the wreckage confirmed that the pressure of the collision had left one of many trains caught on prime of the opposite, in response 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. Though that incident resulted in no deaths, employees requested for extra security measures, El Common reported.

One other derailment in 2018 despatched shock waves by means of a suburb of Mexico Metropolis. A prepare carrying cargo ran off the tracks, and considered one of its vehicles crashed right into a home, killing 5 individuals.

The latest critical accident occurred in 2015, when a collision between two trains left 12 individuals lifeless. In 1975, one other prepare collision on the Viaducto station killed 31 individuals and left greater than 70 injured, in response to El Common.

After the 2015 accident, the German-based firm TÜV Rheinland was employed to look at the circumstances that may have precipitated it and recommend enhancements to expertise. The corporate completed its work in 2017 and was not concerned in trying into the energy of present constructions, a spokesman stated.

“TÜV Rheinland supervised the event of enchancment measures to treatment technical issues in methods engineering,” stated the spokesman, Jörg Meyer. “Our actions at the moment weren’t associated to bridge infrastructure.”

Melissa Eddy contributed reporting from Berlin.

An eight-second video that captured the second of collapse confirmed reasonable site visitors flowing on both aspect of the suspended bridge when all of the sudden 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 law enforcement officials and volunteers utilizing development ladders arrange in opposition to the aspect of the prepare to assist individuals down — together with a number of who had been hobbling and practically unable to stroll.

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

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

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

“It occurred actually all of the sudden,” one girl advised the Mexican newspaper El Common. “I fell into everybody else. Everybody fell into everybody.”

Hernando Manon, 42, was strolling house from work when he felt a tremor and heard a loud crash just a few hundred yards up the road.

“There was a rumbling after which sparks. The lights went out, and we didn’t know what occurred. 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 fuel tank,” one resident, Eduardo García, advised Univision Noticias, a Spanish-language media outlet, including that he had been enjoying soccer on the time. Mr. García stated he had instantly begun working, earlier than seeing a number of ambulances.

Enrique Bonilla, 57, who was on the prepare on the time of the crash, advised 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 prime of each other, and that he had vomited. Mr. Bonilla was capable of seize onto a pole and, afterward, to flee by means of a damaged window, he stated, sitting on the bottom after the crash.

It was throughout in seconds, Mr. Bonilla added. “Thank god I got here out alive.”

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