Mexico City rail overpass collapses onto roadway, killing 23 and injuring 79
This is the moment a railway overpass in Mexico City collapsed onto a busy highway, leaving at least 23 people including children dead and wounding dozens more.
A Line 12 train was crossing the overpass, between Olivos and Tezonco stations, around 10.30pm when a support column suddenly gave way, causing one car to plunge into the street with a second left dangling precariously
Video reveals the overpass runs down the middle of a four-lane highway, with two lanes going in either direction, that was full of traffic at the time.
Rescuers rushed to the scene on Monday night and and quickly began searching the train for survivors, with seven people taken to hospital in ‘grave’ condition and requiring surgery.
But rescue efforts were soon halted amid fears the train was unstable and could collapse further, with people still trapped inside – though mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said it is unclear if those people are alive or dead.
Meanwhile at least one person got trapped in their car underneath the bridge as chunks of concrete collapsed on to the road, but they were pulled out alive and taken to hospital.
‘There are unfortunately children among the dead,’ Ms Sheinbaum said, without specifying how many.
At least 20 people have been killed, including children, and 70 more injured after a train overpass collapsed on to a busy highway in Mexico City around 10.30pm Monday
A Line 12 train was crossing the overpass when a support column suddenly buckled, sending one car crashing on to the street below and leaving another dangling precariously over the roadway
Rescue workers rushed to the scene and began pulling people from the wreckage, but were temporarily called off amid warnings the train is unstable – with people still trapped inside
Rescue workers make their way on to the train to help the wounded, with at least seven people taken to hospital in critical condition where they are now undergoing surgery
Rescuers erect ladders to make their way inside the train carriages, before being temporarily called off amid warnings it is unstable and their movements could cause another collapse
Rescue workers are seen inside the train immediately after the accident, before they were called off due to safety fears
Firemen pull a body from rubble underneath the bridge, as Mexico City’s mayor warned children are among the dead
Rescue workers pull a body from one of the train carriages before work temporarily halted. Mexico City’s mayor has warned that more people are still inside the train, but it is unclear if they are alive or dead
The overpass was about 16ft above the road in the southside borough of Tlahuac, but the train ran above a concrete median strip, which apparently lessened the casualties among motorists on the roadway below.
‘A support beam gave way,’ Sheinbaum said, adding that the beam collapsed just as the train passed over it.
Rescue efforts were briefly interrupted at midnight because the partially dangling train was ‘very weak.’
‘We don’t know if they are alive,’ Sheinbaum said of the people possibly trapped inside the subway car.
Hundreds of police officers and firefighters cordoned off the scene as desperate friends and relatives of people believed to be on the trains gathered outside the security perimeter.
Oscar Lopez, 26, was searching for his friend, Adriana Salas, 26. Six months pregnant, she was riding the subway home from her work as a dentist when her phone stopped answering around the time the accident occurred.
‘We lost contact with her, at 10:50 p.m., there was literally no more contact,’ Lopez said. With little information and a still serious coronavirus situation in Mexico City, Lopez said ‘they are not telling us anything, and people are just crowding together.’
‘Suddenly I saw that the structure was shaking,’ another unidentified witness told the Mexican television network Televisa. ‘When the dust cleared we ran… to see if we could help. There were no screams. I don’t know if they were in shock,’ she added.
One man, Jose Martinez, told reporters that he had a miraculous escape because he was unable to leave work in time to catch the ill-fated train.
‘I was saved by like 15 minutes. It’s good that nothing happened to me,’ he said.
The Mexico City subway has 12 lines and carries millions of passengers each day.
The collapse occurred on the newest of the Mexico City subway’s lines, Line 12, which stretches far into the city’s southside. Like many of the city’s dozen subway lines, it runs underground through more central areas of the city of 9 million, but then runs on elevated, pre-formed concrete structures on the city’s outskirts.
An aerial view of the collapsed bridge shows how the train fell on to the street below, killing at least 20 people
Passersby rush an injured man into an ambulance at the scene of the bridge collapse, in Mexico City’s southeast
A fireman takes a person on a stretcher and wearing a neck brace into a waiting ambulance in Mexico City
Rescuers transport an injured person on a stretcher near Olivos station in southeast Mexico City
Emergency workers carry an injured person away on a stretcher after a train overpass partially collapsed in Mexico City
Media stand at a police barricade barring access to the scene of the collapse
The collapse could represent a major blow for Mexican Foreign Relations Secretary Marcelo Ebrard, who was Mexico City’s mayor from 2006 to 2012, when Line 12 was built.
Allegations about poor design and construction on the subway line emerged soon after Ebrard left office as mayor. The line had to be partly closed in 2013 so tracks could be repaired.
Ebrard wrote on Twitter: ‘What happened today on the Metro is a terrible tragedy.’
‘Of course, the causes should be investigated and those responsible should be identified,’ he wrote. ‘I repeat that I am entirely at the disposition of authorities to contribute in whatever way is necessary.’
It was not clear whether a 7.1-magnitude earthquake in 2017 could have affected the subway line.
The Mexico City Metro, one of the largest and busiest in the world, has had at least two serious accidents since its inauguration half a century ago.
In one of the worst accidents on the network, two metro trains rammed into each other leaving 23 dead and 55 injured in October 1975.
The latest incident comes just over a year after two subway trains collided in Mexico City, leaving one dead and around 40 injured as panicked passengers escaped through dense smoke.
In another incident in January of this year, one person died and 29 suffered smoke inhalation injuries in a fire in the metro’s control center.
The latest accident comes at a time when Mexico is struggling to cope with the coronavirus pandemic, which has left more than 217,000 people dead in the country – one of the world’s highest tolls.
Rescue workers carry a body out from underneath a train that collapsed on to a highway in Mexico City, killing at least 20
Emergency workers rushed to the site, in the southeast of Mexico City, but were temporarily called off amid warnings the train is unstable and could collapse further
Paramilitary workers holding rifles are seen near the scene of the collapse, as a cordon was set up to keep people away
An overhead view of the disaster site reveals how the train fell on to the road after the bridge gave way