An elevated metro line collapsed in the Mexican capital on Monday, leaving at least 20 people dead and dozens injured as a train came crashing down. Carriages were seen hanging from the overpass in a tangle of twisted cables with the ends pointing towards the ground in a V-shape.
“Unfortunately there are 20 people dead so far,” including minors, Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum told reporters at the scene in the south of the capital. The city’s civil defense department said on Twitter that around 70 others were injured in the dramatic accident, one of the worst to strike the Mexico City metro since it was inaugurated in 1969.
Dozens of emergency workers were seen trying to rescue victims from the carriages. But the work later had to be paused because of fears the wreckage was too unstable. A car was trapped under the rubble, but a person inside the viaduct managed to get out alive.
Medics were seen taking the injured away on stretchers. The casualties were rushed to different hospitals in the city.
The accident occurred when a section of the elevated tracks collapsed at the Olivos station at around 10:00 pm (0830 IST). The Mexico City subway has 12 lines and carries millions of passengers each day. Line 12, where the accident struck, was inaugurated in October 2012 by then mayor Marcelo Ebrard, who is now foreign minister.
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.
The latest accident comes at a time when Mexico is struggling to cope with the coronavirus pandemic, which has left more than 2,17,000 people dead in the country — one of the world’s highest tolls.