Monday, June 17, 2024

Accident kills 19 on Mexico City-Puebla highway

Nineteen people were killed and at least three others were injured in a horrific accident at a toll plaza on the Mexico City-Puebla highway on Saturday afternoon.

A transport truck traveling toward the capital lost its brakes and crashed through the San Marcos Huixtoco tollbooths in México state before colliding head-on with numerous cars heading in the opposite direction.

The crash precipitated a large fire that engulfed several vehicles and burned their occupants to death.

A deputy fire department chief in Chalco, the municipality where the accident occurred, said the vehicles’ own gasoline appeared to have fueled the blaze. The truck was carrying 6,000 liters of textile glue, but that substance isn’t flammable, Adrián Díaz Chávez said.

Firefighters arrived at the toll plaza shortly after the crash and managed to control the fire almost 40 minutes later. Capufe, the federal agency responsible for highways and bridges, said late Saturday that 19 people — including the truck driver — had died in the accident. Two of the deceased were children.

The San Marcos Huixtoco toll plaza remained close for seven hours after the crash, causing traffic to back up in both directions. It reopened just before 8:00 p.m.

A similar accident occurred at the same toll plaza in 2019 but no one was hurt. A truck transporting sugar also crashed into the toll booths in September in an accident that claimed the life of one toll collector and one other person, while a tanker carrying molasses suffered the same fate in October. Three people were injured in the latter crash.

Vehicles traveling toward Mexico City traverse a pronounced downward slope before reaching the toll plaza. There are emergency escape ramps before the toll booths, but the truck that crashed on Saturday, and others involved in accidents at the same location, obviously failed to make use of them.

With reports from Excélsior 

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