At least twenty people have been killed in Mexico following the collapse of a train bridge.
Authorities said an overpass in Mexico City’s metro collapsed Monday night, sending a train plunging toward a track, trapping at least one car beneath the rubble and killing at least 20 people.
Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said that 70 people were injured, 49 of whom were hospitalized, and that passengers may still be stuck inside the train, which was split in half and appeared to be partially suspended.
A video showed a car stuck under debris and scores of rescuers digging through the collapsed structure’s wreckage. The overpass in southern Mexico City was approximately five meters above the lane.
“A support beam gave way,” Sheinbaum said, adding that the beam fell as the train approached.
Rescue operations were momentarily halted at 12 a.m. due to the partly hanging train being “extremely thin,” necessitating the use of a crane.
There were still passengers stuck inside the train, but “we have no idea if they are alive,” Sheinbaum said.
The accident occurred on Metro Line 12, which has been plagued by complaints and allegations of construction irregularities.
“What occurred today on the metro is a horrible tragedy,” Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard tweeted.
Oscar López, 26, was looking for his 26-year-old friend Adriana Salas. She was six months pregnant and taking the subway home from work as a dentist when her phone stopped responding around the time of the crash.
“At 10:50 p.m., we lost touch with her,” López said.
The collapse occurred on Mexico City’s newest subway route, Line 12, which runs deep into the city’s southside. As with many of the city’s dozen subway lines, it passes underground through the city’s central business district before transitioning to elevated, pre-formed concrete structures on the outskirts.
The collapse may be a big setback for Mexican Foreign Relations Secretary Marcelo Ebrard, who served as mayor of Mexico City from 2006 to 2012, during the construction of the Line 12.
Concerns about the construction’s efficiency emerged shortly after he stepped down as mayor.
“What happened today on the Metro is a horrible tragedy,” Ebrard posted on Twitter.
“Of course, the underlying causes should be investigated and the perpetrators reported,” he wrote. “I reiterate that I am fully available to assist authorities in any way possible.”
Since its inception half a century ago, the Mexico City Metro, one of the world’s biggest and busiest, has been involved in at least two serious incidents.
Last March, a collision between two trains at the Tacubaya station resulted in the death of one passenger and the injury of 41 others. In 2015, a late train collided with another at the Oceania station, injuring 12.