Metro falls in Mexico City: 23 dead and 70 injured

Firefighters and rescue personnel from Mexico City are working to recover the victims of a subway car that fell after a section of Line 12 collapsed in Mexico City on Monday, May 3, 2021. Foto.AP.

On Monday night some wagons of Line 12 of the Mexico City subway collapsed on an avenue, according to an AP review.

The accident occurred around 22:30 p.m. and left at least 23 dead and 70 injured, said the mayor of Mexico City, Claudia Sheinbaum. About five hours later, the number of hospitalized rose to 65, seven of them were in the operating room in serious condition. Among the deceased there were minors although the authorities did not specify the number.

Sheinbaum asked "not to speculate and wait for the expert reports to find out what happened", but guaranteed that a "deep" investigation would be carried out to determine responsibilities. "If an external expertise is necessary, it will also be carried out," he said. Later it was reported that the operation of the line would be completely suspended and almost 500 buses would be offered as an alternative transport for the citizens. The avenue on which the west occurred would also remain closed.

In the first hours after the chaos, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador did not make any statement, which sparked criticism from hundreds of users on social networks.

The cars of the Mexico City subway collapsed after a section of Line 12 of the subway collapsed in Mexico City. Photo: AP.

Witnesses in the area said they heard a loud crack, like thunder, when a trab was defeated just as a train passed. A car was trapped underneath with a couple inside. The structure was about five meters high above the avenue.

The woman was taken from the car, apparently alive, Adrián Loa Martínez, her brother-in-law, told reporters. His brother remained trapped late into the morning. "It's down there right now," he explained. "So many tons up there ... imagine to move all that."

In a matter of minutes, the area around the Olivos station was filled with ambulances, rescuers, fire trucks, National Guard, Army and Navy patrols. Hundreds of people were milling around nervously, including family and friends looking for loved ones who had not arrived at the house at the scheduled time and used that line. At the top, you could see the fully broken wagon.

At midnight the rescue was temporarily interrupted because the train was "very weak" and there were still people inside, although it was unknown if they were still alive. Work resumed when a crane arrived to secure the train and prevent it from falling over.

Security forces from all levels of government collaborated in the operation while the city government set up a command center to inform the families and had put up a fence so that no one came near.

Rescue personnel in Mexico City move a victim from a subway car that fell after a section of subway Line 12 collapsed in Mexico City on Monday, May 3, 2021. Photo: AP.

As the hours passed, despair grew as the authorities worked to identify the victims. Some lists of injured and transferred to hospitals were published over the hours on the authorities' social networks, but several relatives of people who apparently were traveling in the subway could not find their loved ones. Many published photographs and identity signs on social networks hoping to get a clue; Others went from one hospital to another and various images from local television stations showed them outside the clinics as they yearned for information.

Sheinbaum assured that there was a telephone line enabled to provide information, but some affected people assured the media that it had collapsed due to high demand.

"They do not give us reports, the police push us, they do not tell us anything, only people crowd," explained Oscar López, 26, who was looking for some sign of his friend Ariana Salas, a dentist from his The same age and six months pregnant who was returning home after work.

The young woman's mother called him to come to the scene as soon as she heard the news. Upon arrival, he could not approach, nor find information in hospitals, with great previous activity due to the COVID-19 pandemic. "She is like my sister, I do not believe that all this is happening," he lamented. "Something was going to happen in this subway."

The event took place on Line 12 of the metro, whose construction was the subject of numerous complaints and irregularities, which fueled rumors, no matter how much the mayor asked to wait for the results of the expert opinions and insisted that they would always speak with the truth ahead .

"Causes must be investigated and responsibilities defined," Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard, former mayor of the city from 2006 to 2012, wrote on Twitter. "I reiterate myself at the full disposal of the authorities to contribute in whatever is necessary."

"What happened today in the Metro is a terrible tragedy," he added. "My solidarity to the victims and their families."

The Mexico City Metro, one of the largest and busiest in the world, has had at least three serious accidents since its inauguration half a century ago.

In March 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 people, in what the authorities described after a "double human error."

The most serious accident was a crash at the Viaducto station in 1975, there were 31 dead and more than 70 injured, according to the newspaper El Universal.

 

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