The short, troubled history of Mexico’s deadly metro line

The mayor of Mexico City, Claudia Sheinbaum, has announced a full structural review of the entire Line 12 of the city’s metro, along with an in-depth investigation into the causes of the collapse on Monday, 3 May, that is so far known to have killed 24 people and injured 79 others.

At around 10.22pm on that day, a section of elevated track carrying trains between the Olivos and Tezonco stations suddenly collapsed onto traffic below.

"We will report with all the truth," Sheinbaum said on Tuesday.

Line 12, known as the Golden Line, started operating in October 2012, but the section including the site of Monday’s catastrophe was shut down some 15 months later, in March 2014, for nearly nine months to address structural and technical problems that officials feared put passengers in danger. 

Fears were raised again following the earthquake that struck the city in September 2017, resulting in visible cracks and displacements.

Worried about a structural collapse, residents living near the elevated track took it upon themselves to block heavy goods vehicles from driving under it, media reported at the time.

That year, the director of the city’s Metro at the time, Jorge Gaviño, said the line "was born with endemic problems that would never be solved in its life", adding that it would require "permanent" maintenance, BBC News has reported. 

Following the collapse, Mexican President López Obrador said the investigation would be carried out by federal and Mexico City prosecutors, and should be executed quickly.

"We cannot get into speculation, much less blame the possible perpetrators without having proof," he told reporters, according to the BBC.

Image: Mexico City mayor Claudia Sheinbaum visiting the site of the collapse yesterday with engineers, the secretary of works and services, the director of the construction safety institute, and the director of the Metro (From the Twitter account of Claudia Sheinbaum)

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