The death toll from a Mexican subway crash has risen to 24 as crews have worked to clear the wreckage – and anger has risen over the latest in a series of crashes to hit one of the world’s largest mass transit systems.
Officials refused to speculate on the cause of Monday’s disaster, which caused two carriages to crash into passing traffic on the street below. The mayor of the city, Claudia Scheinbaum, promised an in-depth investigation by an outside company and the federal prosecutor̵
“We will get to the truth. We will not hide anything. This is the request we are making to the prosecutor’s office. There will be responsibility, “she told a tense news conference on Tuesday.
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has called for a swift and open investigation.
“There is no impunity for anyone,” he told reporters. The Mexican capital has been ruled since 2000 by former mayor Lopez Obrador and his allies.
Security camera footage shows the overpass collapsing into a busy street around 10:30 p.m. Monday night, leaving one of the carriages hanging unsteadily.
“We only heard thunder and everything started to fall apart,” she survived, identifying as Mariana to El Universal. “We were sent to fly and we hit the ceiling.”
Observers and passers-by rushed to pull the survivors from the wreckage. Adolfo Angel Ibara, 21, was traveling by small bus when he heard the roar of crumbling concrete and turned to see a cloud of dust.
Running toward the site, he and other bystanders forced the door open and pulled the stunned survivors out of the wreckage. “I was scared, but I also felt like a hero. I felt like someone in need, “Ibara said from the location next to Los Olivos Metro Station.
Emergency medical teams and firefighters worked during the night to release the trapped passengers, and 79 people were taken to hospital.
Families of missing passengers joined the desperate search for the scene and asked for information in overcrowded hospitals.
A mother, identified as Marisol Tapia, interrupted a press conference Tuesday morning by an opposition party at the crash site to seek answers.
“We’ve been looking all night and no one knows where he is,” Tapia cried as she pushed for an answer to where her son, Giovanni Hernandez Tapia, 13, was.
Serania said the collapsed metro line, which opened in 2012, was last inspected in January 2020.
The collapse was followed by a series of subway disasters, including trains crashing into each other and a fire raging through the system’s central command center.
This also happened on Line 12 – the “Golden Line” – which opened to fanfare as a modernization of the subway in Mexico City, but was affected by closures and construction problems.
Mexican social media has recovered old tweets and posts from people warning that something was wrong with the elevated subway line.
“I always said it would collapse one day,” said Paulina Garcia, 45, a resident of the crash site in the southeastern Tláhuac district.
“There have been problems since it was discovered,” she said as a crane lifted one of the fallen wagons nearby so it could be pulled out.
Homer Zavala, leader of the metro workers’ union, said four of the lines were “delayed bombs” due to dilapidated infrastructure. “This catastrophe … could have been avoided if workers had listened,” he told reporters.
Line 12 carries approximately 350,000 passengers a day from the semi-rural south-eastern district of Tláhuac to the south-central part of the capital. Its opening was hailed as a long overdue improvement to the metro system infrastructure, founded in 1969 but chronically underfunded and abounding in destroyed infrastructure.
Row 12 was to be the crowning achievement of former mayor Marcelo Ebrard, who left office in 2012 and is now foreign minister – and a close ally of the president. Political observers see Ebrard and Scheinbaum as rivals in the legacy of Lopez Obrador, who is retiring in 2024.