An elevated section of metro track in Mexico City partially collapsed on Monday night, bringing down rubble and some train carriages onto the road below, videos on Mexican news and social media showed.
The city’s Comprehensive Risk Management and Civil Protection Agency said that at least 20 people had died and 70 more were injured. Of the injured, 49 were taken to several nearby hospitals for treatment — some were in serious condition. There were also children among the fatalities, the city’s mayor told reporters.
Authorities said that cars had also been trapped under the rubble. The elevated track was around 5 meters (16 feet) above the ground.
Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum, who had traveled to the scene, wrote on Twitter that “firefighters, public safety personnel are working. Various hospitals attending. We will give more information shortly.”
Mexico City Metro’s Line 12 was launched in 2012 and has since been plagued by complaints regarding its construction
“A support beam gave way,” Sheinbaum told reporters. The accident happened at 10:30 p.m. local time (3:30 a.m. Tuesday GMT/UTC).
Rescue efforts were temporarily suspended until a crane was brought in. The partially hanging train was “very weak,” Sheinbaum said. People were still trapped inside, but it was not clear if they were alive.
CCTV footage showed a bridge collapsing onto a busy road full of cars.
The accident occurred as the metro train was traveling between the stations of Olivos and Tezonco, in the south of the city, EFE reported.
The accident happened on the city’s Line 12, the construction of which, according to the Associated Press, has been the subject of numerous complaints and accusations of irregularities. It is the newest of the capital’s 12 metro lines, opening for the first time in 2012.
Mexico’s current Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard was mayor of the capital when Line 12 was constructed. He responded to the news on Twitter.
“What happened today with the Metro is a terrible tragedy. My solidarity with the victims and their families,” Ebrard said.
“Of course, the causes must be investigated and responsibilities defined. I reiterate I am at the disposal of authorities to help in whatever is necessary,” he added.
Rescue operations had to be temporarily suspended due to the weakness of the precariously hanging train carriages
Mexico City Metro is one of the largest and busiest metro train networks in the world. In recent years, it has seen two major accidents. A collision in Tacubaya station last year left one person dead and 41 injured while another collision in 2015 at the Oceania station injured 12 people.
ab/msh (AFP, Reuters, AP, EFE)