World 'They found his cellphone': Families tell of desperate searches after Mexico metro collapse

03:00  05 may  2021
03:00  05 may  2021 Source:   reuters.com

Families mourn victims of Mexico City subway collapse

  Families mourn victims of Mexico City subway collapse MEXICO CITY (AP) — José Luis Hernández Martínez crossed Mexico City every day on subway Line 12 between his home on the city’s south side and the body shop where he worked repairing mangled cars. The 61-year-old’s train had emerged from beneath the city and was jostling along the elevated portion far from downtown late Monday night when two of its bright orange cars suddenly fell into a void. Hernández Martínez was killed instantly, his son Luis Adrian Hernández Juarez said, one of 24 people who died in one of the world’s largest subway system’s worst accidents. More than 70 others were injured.

By Sharay Angulo

a person standing in front of a fence: Mexico City rail overpass collapses © Reuters/LUIS CORTES Mexico City rail overpass collapses

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Samuel Del Aguila's son was on his way home from his job at the airport in Mexico City on Monday night when his family saw the first news reports about a deadly metro train accident.

When 29-year-old Immer did not arrive home at the usual time, his family started to worry, and began calling his phone repeatedly.

Hours later, there was finally an answer, but the voice on the other end was not Immer.

"They found his cellphone," Del Aguila said. The stranger on the line didn't know Immer, his whereabouts, or if he was injured.

Mexico City's 'Golden Line' collapse was a tragedy foretold

  Mexico City's 'Golden Line' collapse was a tragedy foretold It's known as the "Golden Line." The Mexico City subway system Line 12, spanning 25.1 kilometers (15.6 miles) and featuring 20 stations, was touted as one of the most expensive and ambitious public works projects in Mexican history when it was inaugurated in October 2012. © CLAUDIO CRUZ/AFP/AFP via Getty Images View of the site of a train accident after an elevated metro line collapsed in Mexico City on May 4, 2021.

Del Aguila, 70, and other family members searched for Immer at nearby hospitals but did not find him. With heavy hearts, they eventually headed to the prosecutor's office where the bodies of the train accident victims had been transported and braced for the worst.

a group of people that are standing in the street: Mexico City rail overpass collapses © Reuters/LUIS CORTES Mexico City rail overpass collapses

"They told us to come here to see if he was with those who did not survive. And unfortunately he was," said Del Aguila, sobbing gently.

Del Aguila's family was one of many who endured agonizing searches and long waits for information about their loved ones after a metro overpass collapsed and a train plunged onto a busy street in southeast Mexico City late Monday, killing at least 24 people and injuring some 79 others.

Photos at the scene of the Mexico City Metro overpass collapse and rescue efforts

  Photos at the scene of the Mexico City Metro overpass collapse and rescue efforts At least 23 people died in an overpass collapse on the Mexico City Metro, which is among the busiest in the world.Rescue workers were still removing bodies from the scene hours after the collapse, but those efforts were suspended early Tuesday because of safety concerns for those working near the precariously dangling car.

Relatives of victims standing outside the city's hospitals and the prosecutor's office described a night of chaos and fear while desperately trying to contact relatives who had been on the train. Some were still missing on Tuesday afternoon.

Jorge Hernandez also learned his 28-year-old nephew Daniel had been seriously injured in the accident when a woman he didn't know called from his phone.

"A lady found his phone ... and it was the lady who contacted my brother last night," Hernandez said.

Daniel underwent abdominal surgery and then was transported by helicopter to another hospital, all while Hernandez and other relatives pleaded for information on his whereabouts.

"It is not the moment for this bureaucracy," Hernandez said.

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

The overpass that collapsed 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," Hernandez said.

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.

(Reporting by Sharay Angulo; Writing by Cassandra Garrison; Editing by Karishma Singh)

Mexico City metro overpass collapses onto road, killing at least 13 and injuring 70, authorities say .
At least 13 people were killed and 70 injured when an overpass in Mexico City’s metro collapsed onto a road on Monday night, authorities said.The accident, which happened near 10:30 p.m. local time, trapped cars under rubble and passengers in train cars hanging mid-air, video on social media and Mexico television showed. Emergency crews worked to recover those passengers.

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