A subway overpass collapsed late Monday in Mexico City, sending passenger train cars sinking to the ground and killing at least 20 people, including children, the city mayor said.
At least 70 others were injured, officials said, and emergency workers crashed into a scene where tilted train cars lay between tangled wires and twisted metal. As dawn approached, a crane was holding a car in the air as emergency workers checked to see if any passengers remained trapped.
Claudia Sheinbaum, mayor of cities, told reporters early Tuesday that there were juveniles among the dead and that 49 people had been transferred to hospitals with injuries.
The crash happened on Line 12 of the subway system near Olivos Station southeast of Mexico City, Mexico’s civil defense agency said in a Twitter post. Local news reports said the accident had occurred between Olivos and Tezonco stations.
The crash happened around 22:25, the newspaper La Jornada reported. The Associated Press quoted Ms. Sheinbaum meant that a support clutch at the overpass had collapsed as the train passed.
At the moment, we can not speculate about what happened, she added. There needs to be an in-depth investigation, and whoever is responsible has been held accountable.
In the meantime, she said, Line 12 would remain closed as authorities investigate the cause of the accident.
Photos and videos of the crash released by the government showed at least one orange and yellow subway car hanging on an overpass. Others showed rescue personnel pulling out injured passengers from a tilted subway car helping them get off the stairs.
Ms Sheinbaum said a motorist in a car blocked by the crash had been rescued alive.
Marcelo Ebrard, Mexico’s foreign minister, called the crash a terrible tragedy in a Posting on Twitter late Monday. Of course, the causes need to be investigated and responsibilities for it determined.
Mexico City Metro warned residents to avoid the area.
Hours after the collapse, rescue workers were still trying early Tuesday to free people trapped inside the mound of crushed metal and collapsed concrete, which was all that still remained at the site where the train overpass was destroyed.
Dozens searched carefully among the debris, some using metal ladders to climb through train car windows to draw people to safety. A number of people were taken from the scene in stretchers while police, emergency workers and several volunteers worked all night. Rescuers had stopped briefly around midnight as the train hung unsafe, but resumed after securing.
A tearful mother, identified only as Elsabet, told TV channel Azteca Noticias that she was looking for her 13-year-old son, who had been with others in the city center and was on the subway, to come home. I spoke to him five minutes ago, she said between sighs. He said he was ready to arrive. She begged the authorities to return my son to me.
After the crash, dozens of relatives gathered around the crash site, expressing their disappointment to local journalists for not being able to approach and help their loved ones get out of the rubbish.
Immediately after the crash, a video showed community members, many wear masks due to the coronavirus pandemic, helping the injured. Three men could be seen carrying another young man away from the rubble site. Another man left the scene, leaning on the arm of another.
Others distributed water and napkins to help clean the faces of those who had come to the rescue.
Just before 2 o’clock in the morning, said Topos Tlaltelolco Rescue Brigade that at least five people remained stranded and that search and rescue workers were using a 200-ton crane to aid their efforts. But shortly afterwards, the civil protection authorities of the governments showed this there were no more people trapped in the rubble.
Images from the scene showed the crane lifting one of the subway cars just off the collapsed road to allow emergency workers to continue the search for anyone who was injured or stranded.
Speaking from the scene, Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said a person had been pulled from a car blocked on the road below the collapsed railway line. At least 65 injured people were taken to hospital, she said.
Sshenka Gutierrez / EPA, via Shutterstock
Luis Cortes / Reuters
Henry Romero / Reuters
Alfredo Estrella / Agence France-Presse Getty Images
Hector Vivas / Getty Images
Marco Ugarte / Associated Press
The subway system in Mexico City, the country’s capital, handles more than four million passengers a day. It is the second largest in America, after New York City.
In March 2020, one person was killed and at least 41 others were injured when two subway trains collided in Mexico City. The city’s mayor, Claudia Sheinbaum, said at the time that one of the trains had apparently relied on the other by accident.
Images of the rubble showed that the force of the collision had left one of the trains stuck on top of the other, according to Reuters.
The following month at Misterios station, a railway junction, a mechanism used to attach to train cars, broke down en route to its destination. Although that incident did not result in death, workers had called for more security measures, Reported by the Yucatan Times.
Another derailment in 2018 sent shock waves through a suburb of Mexico City.
A freight train derailed, causing one of its cars to crash into a house, killing five people.
After a powerful earthquake struck Mexico in September 2017, killing 94 people in Mexico City and more than 100 others elsewhere, some of the infrastructure erected on the same subway line was damaged, the El Universal newspaper reported.
Later that month, some locals i said El Universal that they feared that damaged infrastructure might collapse. The newspaper reported at the time that a column between Olivos and Nopalera stations had suffered structural damage. It also reported that engineers would conduct an ultrasound study of reinforcing steel in 300 columns along the raised section of Line 12.
A short video nine seconds which captured the moment of collapse shows moderate traffic flowing on both sides of the suspended bridge when suddenly it cracks and buckles in a blast of concrete and sparks, falling between car lanes.
Another video taken a few minutes later shows a handful of police volunteers and citizens using the daily construction stairs placed along the train to help people down including some people who are hobbling and almost unable to walk.
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