Horror footage shows the moment an overhead subway line in Mexico City collapses and kills 24 – as the president vows to punish those responsible
- An overhead subway track collapsed in Mexico City on Monday night
- Twenty four were killed when a section in the borough of Tláhuac gave way
- Authorities said that 79 people were injured in the disaster
- Mexico’s president has vowed to investigate what caused the tragedy
- The line opened in 2012 to great fanfare but shut in 2014 for 18 months of repair
- The mayor of Mexico City said the last inspection was January 2020
- She said there were no ‘abnormalities’ reported in the train line or overpass
- French company TCO has since 2016 conducted daily inspections of line
Dramatic new footage shows the moment that an overhead rail carrying a Mexico City subway train collapsed, sending the carriage crashing to the ground and killing 24 people.
In the clip, from local surveillance cameras, the train suddenly plummets to the ground.
A plume of dust and ash then rises to the sky. As the dust settles, the train is seen concertinaed in the middle.
Authorities have opened an investigation into the tragedy, which will include the attorney general’s office and an independent agency from Norway.
The train crash happened at 10:30pm on Monday night in Mexico City
An aerial view shows the site of a metro train accident after an overpass partially collapsed
The subway carriage was left dangling in the air on Tuesday after Monday night’s crash
A trailer takes away one of the train cars that crashed after the train overpass collapsed
Relatives of the victims wait for the bodies to be delivered, outside the prosecutor’s office
Relatives of the victims embrace outside the prosecutor’s office in the Mexico City suburb
Forensic workers, protected by riot police, arrive on Tuesday to investigate the crash scene
A car is seen squashed under the collapsed overpass
Twenty four died and 79 were injured in the tragedy on Monday night
The country’s president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, vowed the government would not hide any details that come out of the joint investigation.
‘There’s no impunity for anyone,’ he said.
‘I share the outrage that there is, I celebrate the position that the head of government has, which is essentially to clarify what happened.
‘And secondly, when you clarify what happened with evidence, with authorities, you establish what responsibilities there are – who has responsibility, and what action was taken in consequence, no matter who it is.’
The Line 12 train was transiting through the overpass that connects the Olivos and Tezonco stations when the support column gave way around 10:30pm local time on Monday.
Claudia Sheinbaum, the mayor of Mexico City, said it appeared a girder had given way on the overpass, which she said was inspected last year.
She said the collapse seemed to indicate a ‘structural failure.’
Cable wires were place on a train car (left) to keep it from crashing to the ground while another wagon (right) dangles from the track
The train car makes it’s way away from the scene of the tragedy on a flatbed truck
‘It is not possible to say categorically, but it seems this is what happened,’ Sheinbaum said.
Four people who live in the area told Reuters they observed the support structures below the elevated tracks visibly shaking when trains crossed.
Some recalled warnings about the humid soil being unfit for major construction.
‘Every time I saw the train, I saw the columns and beams shake,’ said Victor Lara, a daily commuter on the line.
‘They’re not well made.’
Rescue workers could be seen sifting through rubble on Tuesday morning as they continued to search for potential victims.
Four dead passengers were removed from one of the cars on Tuesday, the mayor said.
Emergency workers rushed to the site, in the southeast of Mexico City, but were temporarily called off amid warnings the train is unstable and could collapse further
Rescue workers carry a body out from underneath a train that collapsed on to a highway in Mexico City, killing 24 people
Media stand at a police barricade barring access to the scene of Monday night’s collapse that left 24 people dead and 79 injured
Rescuers transport an injured person on a stretcher near Olivos station in southeast Mexico City
Passersby rush an injured man into an ambulance at the scene of the bridge collapse, in Mexico City’s southeast
An aerial view of the collapsed bridge shows how the train fell on to the street below, killing 24 people
Florencia Serrania, the general director for the Mexico City Metro Collective Transportation System, said an inspection report filed in January 2020 did not show any ‘anomalies’ throughout the Line 12 overpass.
A second inspection was conducted following the June 2020 earthquake that struck the southern state of Oaxaca and was felt in the Mexican capital, but no structural damages were reported.
Marcelo Ebrard, currently Mexico’s foreign minister, presided over the opening of the line in 2012, when he was mayor of the city.
Yet by 2014, the line was already in need of repair, and was closed for 18 months to repair parts of the rails that suffered excessive wear and tear
Myriam Urzúa, Secretary of the Comprehensive Risk Management and Civil Protection, said French firm SYSTRA recommended the continued supervision of the train line after it was shut down in 2014.
Urzúa said that TCO, also a French company, has been contracted since 2016 to conduct daily inspections of the train line.
Sheinbaum said the firm did not provide any reports that would have raised concerns over a possible collapse.
France’s Alstom SA was part of a consortium that built the metro line which suffered the collapse.
On Tuesday, Alstom offered to help authorities in Mexico if necessary.
‘Alstom reiterates its willingness to cooperate with and to aid authorities responsible for investigations in any way necessary,’ the company said in a statement.
Service throughout Line 12, which transports an average of 220,000 passengers a day, has been completely suspended.
Rescuers rushed to the scene on Monday night and and quickly began searching the train for survivors.
But rescue efforts were soon halted amid fears the train was unstable and could collapse further.
At least one person got trapped in their car underneath the bridge as chunks of concrete collapsed on to the road, but they were pulled out alive and taken to hospital.