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Credit…Pedro Pardo / Agence France-Presse – Getty Images

A metro viaduct collapsed Monday night in Mexico City, sending cars from a passenger train plunging to the ground and killing at least 20 people, the government said.

At least 70 other people were injured, officials said, and an unknown number became stranded amid tilted train cars, tangled wires and twisted metal.

The accident happened on metro line 12 near Olivos station in southeast Mexico City, Mexico’s civil protection agency. said in a message on Twitter. According to local reports the accident occurred between Olivos and Tezonco stations.

Government-released photos and videos of the crash showed at least one orange and yellow subway car hanging from an overpass.

Carlos Zúñiga Pérez, television host in Mexico City, tweeted a video rescue personnel rescuing injured passengers from a tilted subway car by helping them descend ladders.

Marcelo Ebrard, Mexican Minister of Foreign Affairs, called the crash a “terrible tragedy” Twitter message Monday evening. “Of course, the causes must be investigated and the resulting responsibilities must be defined.”

The accident happened at around 10:25 p.m. and emergency teams rushed to the scene, La Jornada newspaper reported. In a Twitter after midnight, the government announced the death toll and said 70 more were injured.

Mexico City Metro, officially called Sistema de Transporte Colectivo, informed residents to avoid the area. Claudia Sheinbaum, Mayor of Mexico City, mentionned that she was on site to support rescue personnel.

–Mike ives

Live updates: At least 20 dead in Mexico City train crash
Credit…Luis Cortes / Reuters

The metro system in Mexico City, the country’s sprawling capital, handles more than four million passengers a day. It is the second largest in the Americas, after New York.

In March 2020, one person was killed and at least 41 others were injured when two metro trains collided in Mexico City. Ms Sheinbaum said at the time that one of the trains apparently backed up into the other by accident.

After a powerful earthquake struck Mexico in September 2017, killing 94 people in Mexico City and more than 100 elsewhere, some of the elevated infrastructure on the same metro line was damaged, El Universal newspaper reported.

Later that month, some local residents told El Universal they feared the damaged infrastructure could collapse. The newspaper reported at the time that a column between Olivos and Nopalera stations suffered structural damage. He also reported that engineers were to perform an ultrasonic study of the reinforcing steel in 300 columns along the elevated portion of Row 12.

– Mike ives

A brief nine-second video which captured the moment of the collapse shows moderate traffic flowing on either side of the suspension bridge when suddenly it cracks and warps into a shard of concrete and sparks, falling between the tracks of cars.

Another video taken a few minutes later shows a handful of police officers and citizen volunteers using daily construction ladders set up against the edge of the train to help people get off – including several people who drink and are almost unable to walk.

– Damien cave

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