The Mexican government has promised to launch a full investigation into the collapse of a Mexico City metro overpass amid doubts about the line’s safety, authorities confirmed yesterday.
The elevated track of Line 12 collapsed onto a road, killing at least 24 people Monday night.
Since the line’s inauguration in 2012, fears about possible structural failures have spread. The said concerns stemmed from design issues and construction standards, and there were also allegations of corruption.
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said that “nothing would be hidden.”
The mayor of Mexico City stated that an external company would be involved in the investigation. In a press conference, López Obrador said that the inquiry must be done quickly and would be carried out by federal and Mexico City prosecutors.
“We cannot get into speculation, much less blame the possible perpetrators without having proof,” he said.
The line was built almost two decades ago when Chancellor Marcelo Ebrard was mayor of the capital. Speaking alongside the president, Ebrard spoke of the incident, saying that it was a “very sad day for everyone.”
Current mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said it was too early to determine who was responsible for what happened.
Previously, she said it appeared a girder had given way on the overpass, causing the incident. The line will remain closed while the competent authorities carry out a structural survey.
CCTV footage showed a train passing over the overpass as it collapsed, kicking up clouds of debris and sparks.
Fernando Espino, general secretary of the union representing metro workers, stated that the accident was related to a construction problem. According to the newspaper El Universal, he said: “This is a structural failure… We don’t know if it’s related to the material with which this [section] was built. We need to see what happened.”
The collapsed overpass and other elevated parts of the line had to be closed for multiple repairs in 2014.
Later, following an earthquake in 2017, residents reported cracks in the structure, and transportation authorities made repairs after the reports that same year. The then director of the city’s metro, Jorge Gaviño, said the line “was born with endemic problems that would never be solved in its life” and that it would require “permanent” maintenance.
In the accident, which happened near the Olivos station in the southeast of the city, at least 79 people were injured.
The mayor confirmed that there were children among the dead, but she did not give details. On Tuesday, cranes were authorized to stabilize and remove the two train carriages hanging from the collapsed structure.