An elevated section of the metro track in Mexico City partially collapsed on Monday night, bringing down rubble and some train carriages onto the road below, videos on Mexican news and social media showed.
The city’s Comprehensive Risk Management and Civil Protection Agency said that at least 23 people had died and 70 more were injured. Of the injured, 49 were taken to several nearby hospitals for treatment — some were in serious condition.
There were also children among the fatalities, the city’s mayor told reporters. Authorities said that cars had also been trapped under the rubble. The elevated track was around 5 meters (16 feet) above the ground.
The accident occurred as the metro train was traveling between the stations of Olivos and Tezonco, in the south of the city, EFE reported.
One survivor spoke to the Mexican newspaper El Universal, saying “there were many people standing and sitting in the carriage and when the train came down, we went flying and hit the ceiling.” The victims were stuck inside the carriage for around 15 minutes before one passenger was able to break a window to escape, the survivor explained.
The accident happened on the city’s Line 12, the construction of which, according to the Associated Press, has been the subject of numerous complaints and accusations of irregularities.
It is the newest of the capital’s 12 metro lines, opening for the first time in 2012. Mexico City Metro is one of the largest and busiest metro train networks in the world. In recent years, it has seen two major accidents.
A collision in Tacubaya station last year left one person dead and 41 injured while another collision in 2015 at the Oceania station injured 12 people.
*MEXICO CITY METRO ACCIDENT, SHOCKING IMAGES FROM IMAGEN NOTICIAS SHOW COLLAPSE pic.twitter.com/mckDN5SC9o— Maja Wallengren (@SpillingTheBean) May 4, 2021
Local media broadcast CCTV footage showing the overpass collapsing, sending up clouds of debris. The crash happened at around 22:00 local time on Monday (03:00 GMT) near the Olivos station on the metro’s Line 12, in the south-east of the city.
Speaking at the scene, Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said the cause was still being investigated, but it appeared a girder had given way on the overpass. The line, inaugurated less than a decade ago, will remain closed while a structural survey is carried out.
Residents had reported cracks in the structure after a deadly 2017 earthquake, according to local media. Mexico’s El Universal newspaper says transport authorities made repairs following the reports.