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At least 23 dead, scores injured after Mexico City Metro overpass collapses onto road

Patrick J. McDonnell, Los Angeles Times on

Published in News & Features

MEXICO CITY — At least 23 people were killed and 65 injured Monday when an overpass collapsed on an elevated Mexico City Metro line, plunging a passenger train toward the avenue below and sending debris crashing onto the busy roadway.

The incident occurred about 10:25 p.m. in the southeast section of the capital on Metro Line 12, a branch that has long been dogged by complaints of poor construction.

“We heard a loud sound like thunder, and then everything came crashing down,” a 22-year-old survivor identified only as Mariana told Mexico’s El Universal newspaper. “There were a lot of people standing and sitting in the [train]. ... We went flying and hit against the roof.”

Terrified commuters were trapped inside the twisted train for about 15 minutes until someone managed to break a window, through which the passengers in Mariana’s subway car escaped, she told the newspaper.

The moment of the crash was captured on dramatic video posted on social media. The 10-second video, from official Mexico City security footage, shows the Metro bridge collapsing onto busy Tláhuac Avenue, where traffic was enveloped in a cloud of smoke and debris.

Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum told reporters that there were children among the dead. Of the injured, 49 people were hospitalized, said Sheinbaum, who rushed to the chaotic scene, where emergency crews pulled victims from the wreckage and tried to stabilize the collapsed overpass.

 

Officials provided no breakdown of how many victims had been in the train and how many were pedestrians or motorists on the roadway below.

The conditions of those hospitalized were not immediately available. At least seven victims were in surgery, Sheinbaum said.

Rescue workers were still removing bodies from the scene hours after the collapse, but those efforts were suspended early Tuesday because of safety concerns for those working near the precariously dangling car, the Associated Press reported.

Sheinbaum told reporters that a metal beam supporting the concrete overpass failed as the train rumbled above it. What caused the beam to give way was not clear.

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