According to local government officials, an overpass carrying a subway train collapsed in Mexico City late Monday, killing at least 24 people, including children.
At least 79 people have been admitted to hospitals, according to authorities. The bodies of four people are now stuck inside the carriages that fell to the streets below.
According to Mexico’s Secretariat of Risk Management and Civil Protection, the train was operating on an elevated section of the city’s rapid transit system, on the newest Line 12 — also known as the Golden Line — when part of the overpass collapsed into the traffic below.
International engineering experts will be called in to help determine the cause of the collapse, which the country’s foreign minister, Marcelo Ebrard, described as “the worst public transportation accident we’ve ever had.”
“We will hire an international company certified in metros and structural matters to conduct an external technical investigation,” Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said at a news conference on Tuesday, in addition to an investigation by the attorney general.
Marcelo Ebrard, Mexico City’s Secretary of Foreign Affairs, said he would fully cooperate with all inquiries into Monday’s deadly subway overpass collapse. “I’m at the complete disposal of the relevant authorities, as I’ve always been, for everything that is needed,” Ebrard, who was mayor of Mexico City at the time the subway line was built, said.
According to Mexico City Interior Minister Alfonso Suarez Del Real, the collapse occurred near Olivos Station at 10:25 p.m. local time.
Earlier in the night, rescue attempts were briefly halted due to concerns about the subway car’s stability, which was still hanging over the lane.
One survivor was stuck in a car under the debris but had since been rescued, according to Mayor Sheinbaum.
The city’s metro system is one of the world’s busiest. In 2012, Line 12 was opened, which is where the accident occurred. The so-called “Golden Line” was constructed over a four-year period.
Mexico City Metro Director Florencia Serrania refused to resign during a press briefing on Tuesday, telling reporters: “I consider that I will collaborate with the attorney general to know what was the cause of this structural failure, and I think that’s what we all want, get to the bottom of this.”
“All the public workers are subject to people’s scrutiny, but also it’s crucial to make the inspections and apply the necessary sanctions,” she said.
“Our main task is to attend to the people who are in the hospitals, to attend to the relatives of the victims who unfortunately died in this incident,” said Sheinbaum, Reuters reported.
“The Public Prosecutor’s Office will carry out all the investigations, will make all the expert reports to find out what happened in this accident on line 12 of the subway,” she added.
At a press conference, Mexico’s President, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, expressed his condolences to the families of those killed. He went on to say that the inquiry into the cause of the collapse should be completed quickly and that no information should be kept from the public.
“There’s no impunity for anyone,” he said.