Mexico train crash – Huge crack in line reported by residents after earthquake years before it collapsed killing 23

LOCALS in Mexico City reported a huge crack in the Metro line years before it collapsed – killing 23 people and injuring around 70 more. 

Residents had warned of faults in the structure following an earthquake in 2017, it emerged today.

A train derailed in Mexico City after the overpass it was travelling on collapsed onto a busy road below

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A train derailed in Mexico City after the overpass it was travelling on collapsed onto a busy road belowCredit: Getty
Relatives of the victims arrive at the site of the tragedy today

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Relatives of the victims arrive at the site of the tragedy todayCredit: Reuters
Emergency workers move an injured person on a stretcher at the site of the train accident

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Emergency workers move an injured person on a stretcher at the site of the train accidentCredit: AFP
The overpass is seen completely split in two this morning

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The overpass is seen completely split in two this morningCredit: Reuters
Firefighters work to lower to the ground a subway car dangling from a collapsed elevated section of the metro

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Firefighters work to lower to the ground a subway car dangling from a collapsed elevated section of the metroCredit: AP
Rescue workers gather at the scene

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Rescue workers gather at the sceneCredit: AFP

Two train carriages hung from the damaged overpass after the horrific accident late last night.

Firefighters today used heavy chains to stabilise the site – though rescue efforts were briefly paused over fears that more train parts and debris could slam down onto the road.

Local media reported that residents had reported concerns about a crack in the structure after a 2017 earthquake which killed over 200 people. 

According to the El Universal newspaper, transport authorities had made repairs to the line after the reports. 

Videos on Mexican television show train cars hanging in mid-air as sirens blare.

Meanwhile, footage shown on Milenio TV showed the overpass collapsing onto cars on a road below.

‘TERRIBLE’

Another video showed emergency medical crews and firefighters desperately searching through wreckage for survivors.

Mexico City’s mayor said a support beam had given way, causing the carriages to fall – but declined to give a reason for the accident.

She told reporters: “At this moment, we can’t speculate about what happened.

“There has to be a deep investigation, and whoever is responsible has to be held responsible.”

Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard, who was city mayor when the overpass was built, said it was the most “terrible” accident to have hit the local transport system, and that he was ready to cooperate with authorities in the investigation.

Local media reported that residents had reported concerns about a crack in the structure after a 2017 earthquake which killed over 200 people

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Local media reported that residents had reported concerns about a crack in the structure after a 2017 earthquake which killed over 200 peopleCredit: AFP
Cranes work at the site this morning

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Cranes work at the site this morningCredit: Reuters
Parents of the injured wait outside a hospital for news of their children's injuries

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Parents of the injured wait outside a hospital for news of their children’s injuriesCredit: Reuters
A subway car is supported by cranes as it is removed from a collapsed elevated section of the metro

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A subway car is supported by cranes as it is removed from a collapsed elevated section of the metroCredit: AP
At least 23 people have died in the tragedy

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At least 23 people have died in the tragedyCredit: Reuters
Emergency services workers are searching through the wreckage for survivors

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Emergency services workers are searching through the wreckage for survivorsCredit: Getty
It's reported that a support beam gave way, causing the carriages to plunge onto a road below

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It’s reported that a support beam gave way, causing the carriages to plunge onto a road belowCredit: Getty

Speaking at a press conference, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said the investigation should be done quickly and that nothing should be hidden from the public.

“There’s no impunity for anyone,” he said.

Investigations will be carried out by both the attorney general’s office and an external auditor, the government said.

Earlier today, Mayor Sheinbaum said one casualty had been pulled alive from a car trapped on the road below. At least 49 of the injured were hospitalised, and seven are in serious condition and undergoing surgery, she said.

The city’s Comprehensive Risk Management and Civil Protection Agency initially put the toll at 13 and 70 people injured.

Tragically, the number of people known to have died has since risen.

Rescuers were briefly forced to halt their efforts at midnight because the hanging train carriage was “very weak” and a crane was brought in.

At least one carriage was trapped under the rubble after the overpass, which was around 16 feet above the road, collapsed.

Carlos Zúñiga Pérez, a television host in Mexico City, tweeted a video of rescue personnel rescuing injured passengers by helping them down from ladders.

Mexico City Metro, officially called Sistema de Transporte Colectivo, has warned residents to avoid the area.

Hero rescuers are trying to free people trapped in the carriage

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Hero rescuers are trying to free people trapped in the carriageCredit: Reuters
Fire crews are using ladders to climb into the tilted carriages

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Fire crews are using ladders to climb into the tilted carriagesCredit: Reuters
But at midnight, they were forced to briefly halt their efforts as the scene became too dangerous

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But at midnight, they were forced to briefly halt their efforts as the scene became too dangerousCredit: Reuters
Horrifying images show the extent of the damage

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Horrifying images show the extent of the damageCredit: AFP
Mexcio City's mayor confirmed children are among the dead

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Mexcio City’s mayor confirmed children are among the dead

The accident happened at around 10.30pm local time at Olivos Station in Las Arboledas on the metro’s Line 12, also known as the Gold Line. It was opened in 2012.

Devastated families are waiting at the scene for news of their loved ones.

One man, 46, said his half-brother and sister-in-law had been driving when the overpass collapsed onto their car.

Gisela Rioja Castro, 43, said she was looking for her husband, who always took the train and wasn’t answering his phone.

The metro’s 12 line 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 subway system in Mexico City, the country’s sprawling capital, handles more than four million passengers a day – and a total of 1.655billion in 2019.

It is the second-largest in the Americas, after New York.

Last March, a collision between two trains at the Tacubaya station left one passenger dead and 41 injured. In 2015, a train that did not stop on time crashed into another at the Oceania station, injuring 12 people.

People injured in the horror were pulled from the carriages and rushed to hospital on stretchers

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People injured in the horror were pulled from the carriages and rushed to hospital on stretchersCredit: Getty
It's feared the death toll may yet rise as rescue crews continue to work at the scene

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It’s feared the death toll may yet rise as rescue crews continue to work at the sceneCredit: Reuters

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