An elevated stretch of Mexico City subway collapsed and sent the train to a busy boulevard Monday afternoon. killing at least 23 people and injured at least 79, city officials said.
Lifeguards found four bodies trapped inside a railroad car hanging from the overpass but were unable to remove them. It was unclear if those dead were among the 23. One Tuesday a crane was taken to lower the carriage.
Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said one of the concrete beams collapsed when a subway train passed through it in one of the deadliest episodes in the history of the city’s subway system, which is among the busiest in the city. world.
Mexican Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard described the collapse as “the most terrible accident we have ever had in mass transportation.” Ebrard was mayor of Mexico City from 2006 to 2012, when the line in question was built, and the collapse could represent a major blow to him.
“The cause of the beam collapse has to be established through expert research,” Sheinbaum said.
Earlier, he said someone had been pulled alive from a car that was stuck on the road below. He said 77 of the injured were hospitalized. He also said there were children among the dead.
The overpass was about five meters (16 feet) above the road in the Tlahuac district, but the train ran over a medium strip of concrete, which apparently decreased the casualties of motorists on the lower road.
Mexico City’s subway, which is one of the cheapest in the world with tickets costing about 25 cents, has had at least two serious accidents since its inauguration half a century ago. In March last year, a collision between two trains at Tacubaya station left one passenger dead and 41 people injured. In 2015, a train that did not stop in time crashed into another at Oceania station and injured 12 of them.
Hundreds of police officers and firefighters cordoned off the scene overnight as desperate friends and family who were believed to be on the train gathered outside the security perimeter. Although the coronavirus situation remains dire in Mexico City, they piled up while waiting for news.