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Mexico Metropolis metro overpass collapses onto highway leaving at the very least 24 lifeless

The loss of life toll from the collapse of an overpass on the Mexico Metropolis metro rose to 24 on Tuesday as crews untangled prepare carriages from the metal and concrete wreckage that fell onto a roadway.

Monday night time’s accident was one of many deadliest within the historical past of the subway, and questions rapidly arose concerning the structural integrity of the mass transit system, among the many world’s busiest.

One other 77 individuals have been injured when the help beams collapsed about 10:30 p.m. native time Monday as a prepare handed alongside the elevated part, stated Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum.

On Tuesday, a crane rigorously lowered a prepare automobile containing 4 our bodies to the bottom.

Of the 24 killed, 21 died on the scene, whereas the others died at hospitals. Kids have been among the many fatalities, Sheinbaum stated.

Preliminary evaluation pointed to a “presumed structural failure,” Sheinbaum stated, promising an intensive and impartial inquiry. She added {that a} Norwegian agency had been employed to analyze.

“I didn’t have any report nor alert of any drawback that might have led us to this case,” she stated.

The overpass was about 5 metres above the highway within the borough of Tlahuac, however the prepare ran above a concrete median strip, which apparently lessened the casualties amongst motorists on the highway under.

Abelardo Sanchez, a 38-year-old cook dinner, was simply closing up his sandwich store beside the metro line when he stated the bottom shook, an incredible noise echoed, lights flickered and the air full of mud and the scent of burning wires.

Surprised, Sanchez did not initially react. “Then a man in a white shirt with blood on his arms, his fingers and chest got here out and one other man got here to assist him right here on the sidewalk, and he was there trembling,” he stated.

On Tuesday afternoon, Carlos Miramar waited beneath a tent on metallic chairs with two different family to obtain the physique of his uncle. The 25-year-old scholar had been awake since starting an “exasperating” odyssey the earlier night time that took him to seven hospitals and a number of prosecutor’s workplaces in the hunt for his uncle.

He described his uncle, 38-year-old Carlos Pineda, as a soccer fan with a buoyant persona.

“I am drained and unable to sleep,” Miramar stated. “He did not deserve this finish. He was a superb father, good husband and good son.”

The Mexico Metropolis Metro — which is among the many world’s least expensive with tickets costing about 5 pesos, or 30 cents — has had at the very least two critical incidents since its inauguration half a century in the past.

In March of final 12 months, a collision between two trains on the Tacubaya station left one passenger lifeless and 41 individuals injured. In 2015, a prepare that didn’t cease on time crashed into one other on the Oceania station, injuring 12.

‘They’re time bombs’

A magnitude-7.1 earthquake in 2017 uncovered harmful building defects within the elevated line close to the place Monday’s accident occurred. Authorities on the time had achieved patchwork repairs on the columns and horizontal beams.

Julio Yanez, a 67-year-old lawyer whose residence overlooks the collapsed metro line, was working at his pc when he heard a loud noise and felt his constructing shake. He noticed a cloud of mud and falling particles adopted by an eerie silence till emergency automobiles started arriving. Helicopters landed at a close-by Walmart to ferry the injured to hospitals.

The location the place an overpass for a metro partially collapsed with prepare automobiles on it’s seen at Olivos station in Mexico Metropolis. (Carlos Jasso/Reuters)

The scene shook him as a result of he had exited the metro at that very same station earlier within the day.

“That half there was already declared unhealthy … within the earthquake, and the authorities did not listen,” Yanez stated. He stated related issues have been reported at one other close by station, however nothing was achieved. “They’re time bombs.”

The collapse occurred on Line 12, the subway’s latest, which stretches far into the town’s south facet. Like lots of the dozen subway traces, it runs underground via extra central areas of the town of 9 million however is on elevated concrete constructions on the outskirts.

Earlier repairs

A report issued by the subway system in 2017 confirmed that the bottom of 1 column supporting the tracks had cracked and shed layers of concrete as a result of not sufficient metal rebar stirrups had been used when it was constructed round 2010. In 2017, authorities patched and widened the column by injecting resins, swathing it in carbon fibre, constructing a jacket of extra rebar across the base and pouring concrete across the collar.

Authorities additionally discovered that one of many beams had come unfastened from its help on the prime of a column and was sagging — the sort of failure that might have contributed to Monday’s collapse. Authorities on the time welded metal diagonal braces to the underside of the beam, chipped out and repoured fractured concrete parts.

Rescue personnel work after subway automobiles fell when a piece of Line 12 of the subway collapsed. (Marco Ugarte/The Related Press)

Mexican Overseas Relations Secretary Marcelo Ebrard known as the collapse “essentially the most horrible accident we’ve ever had in mass transportation.” Ebrard was Mexico Metropolis’s mayor from 2006 to 2012 when the affected line was constructed.

Ebrard, who leads Mexico’s efforts to acquire coronavirus vaccines, has been thought of a possible presidential candidate in 2024.

“In fact, the causes ought to be investigated and people accountable ought to be recognized,” he wrote on Twitter. “I repeat that I’m totally on the disposition of authorities to contribute in no matter manner is critical.”

The road was closed Tuesday, and lots of of buses have been known as in. 1000’s in surrounding neighbourhoods lined up earlier than daybreak to catch the buses to get to work.

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