New information just released by The Weather Channel might reveal what caused the Mexico City train crash. According to the report, the elevated section was devasted by an earthquake in 2017, and riders feared at the time that the overpass would collapse.
The magnitude 7.1 earthquake rocked parts of Mexico City on September 19, 2017, causing dozens of buildings to crumble. The devastation centered about 70 miles southeast of the main city and led to the tragic end of 369 victims. Now, investigators are connecting that powerful quake to the tragedy Monday that killed 23 people and left over 70 injured.
The death toll was being tallied early afternoon Tuesday after the elevated metro train derailed. The incident happened around 10:25 p.m. local time Monday when the metro overpass collapsed onto the road below. Local officials including Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum have reported 23 deaths and 79 people in the hospital with mild to heavy wounds. The train ran above a concrete median that reduced the number of roadway casualties.
Rescue efforts to save those trapped beneath the rubble began immediately, however they were paused on Tuesday after authorities noticed a dangling car that had the potential to come crashing down. Those trapped within the rubble include bodies inside the carriages which plummeted to the streets below. Mayor Sheinbaum reported children among the dead.
Line 12, ‘The Golden Line,’ stood 16 feet above the borough of Tlahuac, and “a support beam gave way” as a train rode over it, according to the mayor. The scene quickly saw hundreds of first responders acting to save those affected and identify the bodies of those killed by the tragic accident.
While investigators attempt to understand why the Mexico City metro collapsed, the four-year-old earthquake might be the answer they are looking for. However, Mayor Sheinbaum explained that “the cause of the collapse of the beam must be established through expert investigation,” and that “at this moment, we can’t speculate about what happened.”
“There has to be a deep investigation, and whoever is responsible has to be held responsible,” the Mayor continued. There might be several reasons to explain what happened Monday night since there have been troubles with this particular line since its construction. The New York Times reported that the line was briefly closed for repairs in 2013, only months after its opening.
There has been no confirmation whether the 2017 earthquake caused the eventual collapse. At the time following the earthquake, residents claimed there were cracks in the overpass. A structural failure was found, according to El Universal, but the transportation agency repaired it.
During a news briefing the Mexico City Mayor said that international engineering experts who are “certified in metros and structural matters” will help determine what happened.