Saturday, June 19, 2021

Corruption, earthquake blamed for deadly Mexico City train crash

Many locals are blaming shoddy construction and political corruption for the collapse.

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Residents in Mexico City reported a huge crack in the Metro line years before it collapsed killing 24 people and injuring up to 100 more, local media reports are saying.

Residents warned of faults in the structure following an earthquake in 2017, it emerged today. That earthquake killed over 200 people.

According to the El Universal newspaper, transport authorities had made repairs to the line after the reports.

The train derailed late on Monday after the elevated section it was travelling on collapsed onto a busy road below.

People described a night of chaos and fear while desperately trying to contact friends and family who had been travelling on the train. Some were still missing on Tuesday afternoon.

Many of those Reuters spoke to blamed shoddy construction and political corruption for the collapse.

The overpass was part of Linea 12, an addition to the metro network finished less than a decade ago, and long plagued by allegations of structural weakness.

“We are used to it, sadly. Politicians are used to investing 35% and stealing 65%. It is sad to see how they steal money,” one local told Reuters.

Mexico City mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said a support beam had given way, causing the carriages to fall – but declined to give a reason for the accident.

“At this moment, we can’t speculate about what happened,” she told reporters. “There has to be a deep investigation, and whoever is responsible has to be held responsible.”

Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard, who was city mayor when the overpass was built, said it was the most “terrible” accident to have hit the local transport system, and that he was ready to cooperate with authorities in any investigation.

At a news conference on Tuesday with officials involved in the construction and maintenance of the metro line that collapsed, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Mexico will punish those responsible for the crash and an investigation should be carried out quickly and transparently, hiding nothing from the public.

“There will be no impunity for anyone,” he said.

The Mexico City subway system is the second-largest in the Americas, after New York City, and carries more than four million passengers a day.

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