Dramatic new footage shows the moment when an overhead line on a Mexico City subway collapsed, crashing the carriage to the ground and killing 24 people.
In the clip, from local surveillance cameras, the train suddenly crashes to the ground.
A plume of dust and ash then rises to the sky. While the dust has settled, the train is seen harmoniously in the middle.
Authorities have opened an investigation into the tragedy, including the attorney general’s office and an independent office from Norway.
The train accident happened in Mexico City at 10:30 p.m. on Monday evening
An aerial photograph shows the site of a subway train accident after an overpass partially collapsed
The subway car remained dangling in the air on Tuesday after Monday night’s crash
A trailer removes one of the train cars that crashed after the train viaduct collapsed
Relatives of the victims wait outside the prosecutor’s office for the bodies to be delivered
Relatives of the victims hug outside the prosecutor’s office in the suburbs of Mexico City
Forensic personnel, protected by riot police, arrive on Tuesday to investigate the crash scene
A car is seen squashed under the collapsed viaduct
Twenty-four died and 79 were injured in the tragedy on Monday night
The country’s president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, vowed that the government would not hide details emerging from the joint investigation.
“There is no impunity for anyone,” he said.
I share the outrage out there, I celebrate the position held by the head of government, which is essentially intended to clarify what happened.
“And second, when you clarify what happened to evidence, to authorities, you establish what responsibilities there are – who is responsible and what action has been taken, regardless of who it is.”
The line 12 train was passing through the viaduct connecting the Olivos and Tezonco stations when the support column collapsed around 10:30 p.m. local time on Monday.
Claudia Sheinbaum, the mayor of Mexico City, said it looked like a beam had dropped on the flyover, which she said was inspected last year.
She said the collapse seemed to indicate a “structural failure.”
Cable wires were placed on a train car (left) to prevent it from falling to the ground while another car (right) dangles from the track
The train car makes its way from the scene of the tragedy on a backhoe truck
“It’s not possible to say categorically, but it looks like this is what happened,” Sheinbaum said.
Four people living in the area told Reuters they saw the support structures beneath the elevated tracks visibly shake as trains crossed.
Some recalled warnings that the moist soil was not suitable for large structures.
“Every time I saw the train, I saw the columns and beams shake,” said Victor Lara, a daily commuter on the line.
“They are not well made.”
On Tuesday morning, rescue workers could be spotted through the rubble as they continued to search for potential victims.
Four dead passengers were taken from one of the cars on Tuesday, the mayor said.
Emergency workers rushed to the site, in southeastern Mexico City, but were temporarily called off due to warnings that the train is unstable and could collapse further
Rescuers carry a body from under a train that collapsed on a highway in Mexico City, killing 24 people
Media stands at a police barricade blocking access to the site of Monday night’s collapse that killed 24 people and injured 79
Rescuers transport an injured person on a stretcher near Olivos station in southeastern Mexico City
Passers-by rush an injured man to an ambulance at the site of the bridge’s collapse, in southeastern Mexico City
An aerial photograph of the collapsed bridge shows how the train fell to the street below, killing 24 people
Florencia Serrania, the general manager of the Mexico City Metro Collective Transportation System, said an inspection report filed in January 2020 showed no “ anomalies ” in the Line 12 flyover.
A second inspection was conducted after the June 2020 earthquake that hit the southern state of Oaxaca and was felt in the Mexican capital, but no structural damage was reported.
Marcelo Ebrard, Mexico’s current Secretary of State, chaired the opening of the line in 2012, when he was the city’s mayor.
But by 2014, the line was already in need of repair and had been closed for 18 months to repair parts of the rails that had suffered excessive wear.
Myriam Urzúa, Secretary of Comprehensive Risk Management and Civil Protection, said the French firm recommended SYSTRA to oversee the railway after it was shut down in 2014.
Urzúa said TCO, also a French company, has been contracted since 2016 to conduct daily inspections of the railway.
Sheinbaum said the company has not filed any reports that would have raised concerns about a possible collapse.
France’s Alstom SA was part of a consortium that built the metro line that suffered from the collapse.
On Tuesday, Alstom offered to assist the authorities in Mexico if necessary.
“Alstom reiterates its willingness to cooperate with and assist the authorities responsible for investigations in any way possible,” the company said in a statement.
The service on Line 12, which transports an average of 220,000 passengers per day, has been completely discontinued.
Rescue workers rushed to the scene Monday evening and quickly began searching the train for survivors.
But the rescue efforts were soon halted for fear that the train was unstable and could collapse further.
At least one person got trapped in their car under the bridge when pieces of concrete fell onto the road, but they were pulled out alive and taken to hospital.