23 dead after elevated metro tumbles down in Mexico
Mexico City, Mexico: Authorities said an elevated metro line in Mexico City collapsed on Monday, killing at least 23 people and injuring dozens more as a train came crashing down.
Carriages were seen hanging from the overpass in a tangle of twisted cables, with the ends pointing in a V-shape towards the deck.
"Unfortunately there are 23 deceased," including minors, Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum told reporters at the scene in the south of the capital.
Following the dramatic crash, which was one of the worst to hit the Mexico City metro since it opened in 1969, 65 people were taken to the hospital.
Anxious relatives gathered at the site, waiting for word on those thought to be on board the train.
According to Efrain Juarez, his son was among the ruins.
"My daughter-in-law called us. She was with him and she told us the structure fell down over them," he told AFP.
Another guy, who did not want to be identified, stated that his brother was among those trapped.
"He came with his wife and they managed to get her out, but he was crushed there and we don't know anything," he said.
'The structure was shaking'
The work had to be halted due to concerns that the rubble was too unstable, but it was later resumed with the assistance of a crane.
According to her, a car was stuck under the debris, but a person inside managed to escape alive.
Onlookers were advised to step back in case of falling debris by the police, who had brought rescue dogs.
Nuestro apoyo y solidaridad con las familias afectadas por el incidente en la Línea 12 del Metro. Acompañamos a la doctora @Claudiashein a donde se desplegaron elementos del @GobiernoMX y de la @GN_MEXICO_ para colaborar en las labores de rescate. pic.twitter.com/vEjhdSIhdp— Rosa Icela Rodríguez Velázquez (@rosaicela_) May 4, 2021
"Suddenly I saw that the structure was shaking," an unidentified witness told the Mexican television network Televisa.
"When the dust cleared we ran... to see if we could help. There were no screams. I don't know if they were in shock," she added.
Medics were seen transporting the wounded on stretchers.
According to Sheinbaum, the victims were rushed to various hospitals throughout the area.
She vowed a structural review of the affected metro line, which will remain closed, as well as a thorough investigation into the accident's causes.
"We will report the whole truth. Our support to all victims," Sheinbaum tweeted.
A lucky escape
One man, Jose Martinez, told reporters that he had a miracle escape because he couldn't leave work in time to catch the ill-fated train.
"I was saved by like 15 minutes. It's good that nothing happened to me," he said.
AT LEAST 20 PEOPLE HAS SO FAR BEEN CONFIRMED DEAD, WITH OVER 45 INJURED IN MEXICO'S LINE 12 METRO ACCIDENT (IMAGE COURTESY OF MILENIO)
The Mexico City subway system has 12 lines and transports millions of passengers every day.
Line 12, which was hit by the crash, was inaugurated in October 2012 by then-mayor Marcelo Ebrard, who is now foreign minister.
Ebrard offered his assistance with the investigation to determine the causes and liability for what he called a "terrible disaster" on Twitter.
Ricardo de la Torre, a Mexico City resident who lives near Line 12, said he was concerned about the quality of the overpass because trains cause nearby buildings to tremble.
"By that simple fact we know that the construction is bad," he said.
In one of the worst incidents on the network, two metro trains collided in October 1975, killing 23 people and injuring 55 others.
Monday's incident occurred just over a year after two subway trains collided in Mexico City, killing one person and injuring approximately 40 others as panicked passengers fled through thick smoke.
A fire in the metro's control center killed one person and injured 29 others in January of this year.
The latest accident occurs as Mexico struggles to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 217,000 people in the region, one of the world's highest tolls.
COVER IMAGE COURTESY OF MEXICAN MEDIA
This story has been wrapped up with the latest updates.