Monday, June 17, 2024

Stage collapse at Nuevo León campaign event kills at least 9, injures dozens

The collapse of a stage due to strong wind at a campaign event in the metropolitan area of Monterrey, Nuevo León on Wednesday night killed at least nine people and injured scores of others, state authorities said.

Presidential candidate Jorge Álvarez Máynez was among the Citizens Movement (MC) party candidates and officials on the concert-style stage when the collapse occurred, but he was not injured.

Videos of the moment of the stage collapse have been widely posted on social media.


Nuevo León Governor Samuel García said on social media early Thursday that nine people were killed and 70 others remained in hospital. He said that 11 other people had been discharged from hospital.

One of the nine people killed was a child. Media reports identified that victim as an 11-year-old boy who was buried under the collapsed structure. The boy’s father was also reportedly killed.

The tragedy occurred at a rally in the affluent municipality of San Pedro Garza García for MC mayoral candidate Lorenia Canavati. Citizens had also traveled to the El Obispo baseball park to listen to a musical group and support other MC candidates in the June 2 elections, including Álvarez Máynez.

The presidential candidate and several others were chanting “Máynez, Máynez” when a powerful gust of wind swept through the stage, causing a large screen emblazoned with the MC logo to lift off. Álvarez Máynez and other candidates and officials reacted quickly, running for their lives.

Paramedics rushing accident victims to an ambulance
As of Thursday morning, 70 people were still reported to be hospitalized following the accident that killed at least nine people. (Cuartoscuro)

A short time later, the roof of the stage — including metal lighting trusses — collapsed onto the stage platform and into the crowds of people. Video footage showed numerous people trapped under the lighting trusses. Paramedics, soldiers, members of the National Guard and citizens worked to free those trapped.

State Civil Protection chief Erik Cavazos attributed the collapse of the stage to “atypical wind.”

After the incident, García advised residents of the Monterrey metropolitan area to stay indoors due to “electrical storms” and “very strong winds.”

Álvarez Máynez said in a video message that the “climatic phenomenon” that caused the stage to collapse wasn’t “foreseeable as has been speculated.”

Moment of the stage collapse accident
People captured the moment of the stage collapse and ensuing chaos with their cell phones. (Cuartoscuro)

Referring to the gust of wind that brought the structure down, he said he had “never experienced something so sudden.”

“It is terrible that the people who came to enjoy a day of celebration, of joy, with us, with the band, are now victims of this tragedy,” Álvarez Máynez told reporters.

The candidate’s campaign coordinator Laura Ballesteros was among the injured. According to MC, she was hospitalized with a broken foot. The party described the winds that brought the stage down as “hurricane-like.”

Álvarez Máynez and García attended hospitals in the metropolitan area where those injured were being treated.

The MC presidential candidate, a distant third place in the polls, announced he was suspending his planned campaign activities on Thursday.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and the other two presidential candidates, Claudia Sheinbaum and Xóchitl Gálvez, took to social media to express their regret over the tragedy and convey condolences to the families of the deceased. Sheinbaum canceled a rally planned for Monterrey on Thursday.

Canavati, the San Pedro mayoral candidate, said in a post to the X social media platform that “there are no words to describe the pain and sadness we all feel because of the terrible accident at our campaign event today.”

“At this time the only thing I can think of are the victims and their families,” she wrote.

With reports from Reforma, El Universal and Reuters

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