At least 23 dead in the collapse of a section of the Mexico City subway

04/05/2021

At least 23 people have been killed and more than 70 injured after a bridge girder collapsed on a Mexico City subway bridge on Monday night. It is the biggest tragedy in the city since the 2017 earthquake. At around 22.25 the structure supporting one of the outer spans of subway line 12 collapsed on one of the main arteries southeast of the capital.

"A trabe [beam] expired at the moment when the train was passing," explained the head of government of the Mexican capital, Claudia Sheinbaum, from the scene of the event around midnight. This Tuesday morning Sheinbaunm has asked since the president's morning conference to avoid speculations and to wait for the result of the external expertise on the accident. Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has promised that the investigation will be carried out "without regard of any kind".

"There is no impunity for anyone," he emphasized. The chancellor, Marcelo Ebrard, responsible for the construction of line 12 of the subway during his term as head of government of the city (between 2006 and 2012), has assured that he will be "at the disposal of the authorities". "He who acts with integrity should not be afraid of anything," he said.

The collapse of the bridge and of two of the wagons of the convoy on the road has left some vehicles and dozens of people trapped. The accident occurred in a city that has one of the busiest subways in the world: more than 5.5 million people use it every day as the only means of transport to their homes and work.

Mexico City, one of the busiest cities in Latin America, will have to deal with public transportation cuts and traffic restrictions. 

The Line 12 train was running between Olivos and Tezonco stations at the time of the accident. The cars fell on vehicles passing under the bridge on Tláhuac Avenue, according to images from public security cameras, which captured the moment of the collapse.

Emergency services and Civil Protection personnel, as well as members of the Army, were deployed throughout the area, which was cordoned off to the horror of hundreds of neighbors. In recent years, on several occasions, residents of the area had denounced the deteriorating situation of some of the subway structures in this point of the city after the 2017 earthquake.

Metro line 12, inaugurated in October 2012, was for many months a source of pride for the Mexican left, boasting of a historic $1.8 billion investment and providing daily service to nearly half a million people who previously could not quickly cross an area in the southeast of the capital. However, back in 2014, service had to be suspended at 11 of the 20 stations that comprise it due to "oscillations detected on the tracks" that could cause a derailment.

By Mexicanist