Mexico: At least 23 people were killed and 65 were severely injured when a railway overpass and train collapsed onto a traffic road in Mexico City Monday night, crushing cars under fallen wagons and debris.
Authorities halted rescue efforts shortly after it began, saying there was a risk that more train parts and debris could hit the road.
A video on local channel Milenio TV displayed the structure crashing into a stream of vehicles near Olivos station in the southeast of the city around 10:30 pm local time, sending up dust clouds.
At least two train carriages hang uncertainly on the damaged overpass. Initial rescue efforts caused medical and firefighters to try to gain access to the wagons. The army was also present.
Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum has told on-site reporters that a beam appears to have given way on the road, but the cause is being investigated.
She said the rescue was suspended because the structure was fragile. A crane was stabilizing the train carriages so rescuers could resume their search for survivors.
Authorities were identifying the dead, including children, Sheinbaum said. One person trapped in their car under the wreckage was rescued alive and taken to hospital. Seven of the persons transported to the hospital were in a ‘serious condition’ and had undergone surgery, she said.
The Metro 12 line that crosses the collapsed bypass was constructed almost a decade ago when Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard was current mayor of Mexico City.
“What happened to the Metro today is a terrible tragedy. My solidarity is with the victims and their families,” Ebrard said on Twitter. “Of course, the causes need to be investigated and responsibilities defined.”
Ebrard and Sheinbaum are seen by several political observers as the most likely successors to President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador once his six-year term in 2024 expires.