The death toll from the Mexico City elevated metro train derailment has risen to at least 23, with about 70 injured – as rescue efforts were suspended Tuesday amid fears that a dangling car might come crashing down.
“Unfortunately there are 23 deceased,” including minors, Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum told reporters at the scene in the south of the capital, according to Agence France-Presse.
She said first-responders don’t know if people trapped inside the teetering car are alive following one of the deadliest accidents in the city’s subway system, among the busiest in the world.
Sheinbaum said earlier that someone had been pulled alive from a car that was trapped on the road below, adding that 49 of the injured were hospitalized, and that seven were undergoing surgery.
“There are unfortunately children among the dead,” she said, without specifying how many.
The overpass was about 16 feet above the road in the borough of Tlahuac, but the train ran above a concrete median strip, which apparently reduced the number of casualties among motorists below.
“A support beam gave way” just as the train passed over it, the mayor said.
Hundreds of police officers and firefighters cordoned off the scene Tuesday as desperate friends and relatives of people believed to be on the train gathered at the site awaiting news of those believed to have been aboard the train.
Efrain Juarez said his son was in the wreckage.
“My daughter-in-law called us. She was with him and she told us the structure fell down over them,” he told AFP.
Another man said his brother was among those trapped.
“He came with his wife and they managed to get her out, but he was crushed there and we don’t know anything,” the man, who did not want to be named, told the news agency.
A witness told Mexican TV network Televisa that she saw the structure shaking.
“When the dust cleared we ran … to see if we could help. There were no screams. I don’t know if they were in shock,” the unidentified woman said.
Adrián Loa Martínez, 46, said his mother called to tell him that his half-brother and sister-in-law were driving when the overpass collapsed and a beam fell onto their car.
He said his sister-in-law was rescued and sent to a hospital, but that his half-brother José Juan Galindo was crushed.
“He is down there now,” he told journalists pointing toward the site.
The collapse occurred on the newest of Mexico City’s subway’s lines, Line 12.
Like many of the city’s dozen lines, it runs underground through more central areas of the city of 9 million, but then runs on elevated structures on the city’s outskirts.
The Mexico City Metro has had at least two serious accidents since its inauguration half a century ago.
In March 2020, a collision between two trains at the Tacubaya station left one passenger dead and injured 41 people. In 2015, a train that did not stop on time crashed into another at the Oceania station, injuring 12.
With Post wires