© Reuters. Rescue workers work at a location where a subway overpass partially with rail cars at Olivos station in Mexico City collapsed
By Anthony Esposito and Noe Torres
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – At least 23 people were killed and 65 hospitalized when a railroad overpass and train crashed onto a busy Mexico City street Monday night, crushing cars under fallen carriages and debris.
Authorities halted the rescue effort shortly after it began, saying there was a risk of more train parts and debris spilling onto the road.
A video on local broadcaster Milenio TV showed the structure crashing into a stream of cars and raising clouds of dust around 10:30 p.m. local time near Olivos train station in the southeast of the city.
At least two wagons were hanging precariously on the damaged overpass. During the first rescue efforts, doctors and firefighters tried to access the wagons. The army was also present.
Speaking to local reporters, the Mayor of Mexico City, Claudia Sheinbaum, said a porter on the flyover had given in, but the cause was being investigated.
She said the rescue has been suspended because the structure is very weak. A crane worked to stabilize the train cars so rescuers could continue their search for survivors.
Authorities were working to identify the dead, which included children, Sheinbaum said. A person trapped in their car under the wreckage had been rescued alive and taken to the hospital. Seven of the people transported to the hospital were in “severe condition” and underwent surgery, she said.
Subway Line 12, which runs over the collapsed flyover, was built almost a decade ago when Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard was Mayor of Mexico City.
“What happened to the metro today is a terrible tragedy. My solidarity goes to the victims and their families,” Ebrard said on Twitter. “Of course the causes have to be investigated and responsibilities have to be defined.”
Ebrard and Sheinbaum are viewed by many political observers as the most likely successors to President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador once his six-year term ends in 2024.
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