Mexico City prosecutor to press homicide, other criminal charges for metro collapse

·2-min read
Aerial view showing the site in which a section of an elevated track collapsed, bringing a train crashing down on May 3, 2021, taken on May 10, 2021 a week after the accident, in Mexico City (AFP/Alfredo ESTRELLA)

Mexico City's attorney general said Thursday she will press charges of homicide, personal injury and property damage against people and companies linked to the collapse of a section of a metro line in the capital that left 26 dead in May.

"This attorney general's office has the elements to press charges against a series of companies and persons who were in charge of ensuring that the causes of the collapse did not arise," said prosecutor Ernestina Godoy in her final report on the accident that also left about 80 people injured.

The charges will be formalized shortly in hearings before local judicial authorities, which will then notify and summon those charged, Godoy said.

She pointed out, however, that her office has encouraged cases against companies to be channeled through "reparation agreements" with the victims' families under the understanding that the process "can offer better options to accelerate comprehensive reparation" for the injured parties.

Godoy pointed out that some companies that participated in the construction of Line 12 of the Mexico City metro have "from the outset" shown interest in mitigating and making reparations for the impact of the collapse.

In June, Mexican magnate Carlos Slim, owner of the company that built most of the damaged stretch, promised to pay for its reconstruction, according to Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

The prosecutor also indicated that some of the companies involved in the accident have expressed interest in providing resources for a fund that guarantees reparations for the families of the deceased and injured.

The collapse of an elevated section of Line 12, which occurred on the night of May 3, was due to the buckling of support beams and inadequate bolts that "caused part of the elevated section to lose its composite structure," according to the final technical report of the Norwegian firm DNV, hired by the city hall.

The prosecution's criminal investigation included its own technical expertise, independent of that carried out by DNV, Godoy said.

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