Rail overpass collapse horror in Mexico City

MEXICO CITY, 4 May 2021:

At least 23 people have been killed and 49 hospitalised after a Mexico City metro overpass collapsed, causing two subway coaches to drop down onto a busy road late yesterday.

Local residents took to social media to criticise authorities, saying they had repeatedly warned about structural issues at the overpass on Line 12, between the stations of Olivos and Tezoncos, following the large earthquake that hit the Mexican capital in September 2017.

“Unfortunately, what happened was a beam collapsed when a train passed over it, all investigations will be conducted to find out what caused this accident,” Mexico City governor Claudia Sheinbaum told the press at the scene of the accident.

Mexico City government secretary Jose Alfonso Suarez del Real said casualties are being transferred to hospitals in Tlahuac and Iztapalapa and that no deaths had been reported as of publication time.

The first video images show how two subway cars fell on the road where dozens of vehicles were circulating at the time.

Emergency services immediately arrived to attend to victims and remove the train.

The accident occurred shortly before 10:20pm local time (03:20 GMT on Tuesday.)

Security camera footage shows how the elevated structure breaks when the train collapses, from a height of about 20m – and two coaches remain in a “V” shape having impacted the floor. The crash occurred on Tláhuac avenue where there was moderate traffic.

The installation is part of the subway bridge built during the Administration of Marcelo Ebrard (2006-2012), now the country’s chancellor.

The accident occurred a couple of kilometres from the Periferico Oriente highway and dozens of agents from the Secretariat of Citizen Security and Civil Protection arrived at the scene.

Images shared online show the wagons on a bus and at least two cars.

A fire broke out Jan 9 in the control centre of the Mexico City Metro, in the Historic Center, which caused one death and at least 30 injuries, paralysing six train lines.

The Metro of the Mexican capital transports about 6 million people daily, which makes it one of the busiest in the world, although its demand drops on weekends.

Various citizen organisations have criticised the precariousness of the facilities and the lack of maintenance that causes frequent interruptions in the Metro service.