Military and emergency personnel at the scene after an elevated section of metro track in Mexico City, carrying train cars with passengers, collapsed onto a busy road on May 3 2021. Picture: GETTY IMAGES/HECTOR VIVAS
Military and emergency personnel at the scene after an elevated section of metro track in Mexico City, carrying train cars with passengers, collapsed onto a busy road on May 3 2021. Picture: GETTY IMAGES/HECTOR VIVAS

Mexico City — At least 23 people were killed and 65 hospitalised when a railway overpass and train collapsed onto a busy road in Mexico City on Monday night, 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 the Olivos station in the southeast of the city at about 10.30pm local time, sending up clouds of dust.

At least two train carriages precariously hung 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 a girder had given way on the overpass but the cause is being investigated. She said the rescue has been suspended as the structure is very weak. A crane is being used to stabilise the train carriages so rescuers can resume their search for survivors.

The authorities are working to identify the dead, which include children, Sheinbaum said. One person trapped in their car underneath the wreckage was rescued alive and taken to hospital. Seven of the people transported to hospital are in a “grave condition” and undergoing surgery, she said.

At least twenty people were killed and 70 hurt when an overpass carrying Mexico City metro train cars partially collapsed on to a road on May 3 2021.

The Metro 12 line that runs over the collapsed overpass was built almost a decade ago when foreign minister Marcelo Ebrard was mayor of Mexico City.

“What happened today with the Metro is a terrible tragedy. My solidarity is with the victims and their families,” Ebrard said on Twitter. “Of course, the causes must be investigated and responsibilities defined.”

Ebrard and Sheinbaum are seen by many political observers as the most likely successors to President Andrés Manuel López Obrador once his six-year term is over in 2024.

Reuters

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