A rescue operation was under way after a Mexico City metro overpass partially collapsed on Monday night. At least 23 people died in the incident and about 70 were injured, civil protection authorities in Mexico said.
Footage on Milenio TV showed the overpass collapsing on to cars on a road below and videos on Mexican television and social media showed train cars hanging in mid-air as sirens blared nearby.
Another video showed emergency medical crews and firefighters at the scene of the accident combing through wreckage looking for survivors.
Mexico City’s mayor, Claudia Sheinbaum, said on Twitter that a support beam had given way, causing the overpass to collapse. She said that “firefighters, public safety personnel are working. Various hospitals attending. We will give more information shortly.” She said 34 people had been sent to hospital.
Rescue efforts were briefly interrupted at midnight because the partially hanging train was “very weak” and a crane had to be brought in. There were still people trapped inside the train, though “we don’t know if they are alive,” said Sheinbaum.
Sheinbaum said at least one car was trapped under the rubble and emergency workers were searching for survivors. The accident happened at around 10:30pm local time on the metro’s Line 12, also known as the Gold Line. It was opened in 2012.
It was built when foreign minister Marcelo Ebrard was mayor of Mexico City.
“What happened today with the Metro is a terrible tragedy. My solidarity with the victims and their families,” Ebrard said on Twitter.
“Of course, the causes must be investigated and responsibilities defined. I reiterate I am at the disposal of authorities to help in whatever is necessary.”
The Mexico City Metro, officially called Sistema de Transporte Colectivo is the second largest metro system in North America after the New York City Subway. In 2019, it served 1.655 billion passengers.
The metro system has had at least two serious accidents since its inauguration half a century ago. In March of last year, a collision between two trains at the Tacubaya station left one passenger dead, injuring 41 people. In 2015, a train that did not stop on time crashed into another at the Oceania station, injuring 12 people.