At least 23 dead after Mexico rail overpass collapses

Rescuers at the site where an overpass for a rail line had partially collapsed with train cars on it at Olivos station in Mexico City on Monday.
Rescuers at the site where an overpass for a rail line had partially collapsed with train cars on it at Olivos station in Mexico City on Monday.PHOTO: REUTERS

MEXICO CITY • At least 23 people were killed and 65 were hospitalised when a railway overpass and train collapsed onto a busy road in Mexico City, crushing cars under fallen carriages and rubble.

The authorities halted rescue efforts shortly after they began, saying there was a risk that more train parts and debris could slam down onto the road.

A video on local channel Milenio TV showed the structure plummeting onto a stream of cars near Olivos station in the south-east of the city on Monday night, sending up clouds of dust and rubble.

At least two train carriages were seen dangling precariously from the damaged overpass. Initial rescue efforts saw medical and fire crews trying to access the carriages. The army was also in attendance.

Speaking to reporters at the site, Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said it appeared that a girder had given way on the overpass but the cause was being investigated. She said the rescue had been suspended as the structure was very weak. A crane was working to stabilise the train carriages so that rescue workers could resume their search for survivors.

The authorities were working to identify the dead, including children, Ms Sheinbaum said. One person trapped in a car underneath the wreckage had been rescued alive and was taken to hospital. Seven of the people transported to hospital were in "grave condition" and undergoing surgery, she said.

The Metro 12 line that runs over the collapsed overpass was built almost a decade ago. "What happened today with the Metro is a terrible tragedy. My solidarity is with the victims and their families," Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said on Twitter. "Of course, the causes must be investigated and responsibilities defined."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 05, 2021, with the headline 'At least 23 dead after Mexico rail overpass collapses'. Subscribe