Mexico's Slim to fix collapsed metro line at no cost in a year

·2-min read
FILE PHOTO: Employees work as part of the investigations in front of the site where an overpass for a metro partially collapsed with train cars on it, in Mexico City

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) -Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim's construction firm will repair a collapsed Mexico City metro line at no cost to the government so that it can re-open in a year, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Wednesday.

The accident last month on an elevated stretch of Line 12, which was built by Slim's Grupo Carso, killed 26 people.

Lopez Obrador said Slim told him in a meeting on Tuesday that he would cover the entire cost of rebuilding.

"He's going to pay for everything... and it will be finished in 12 months," Lopez Obrador said.

Lopez Obrador did not address how much the repairs would cost.

Preliminary results of an independent probe into the accident showed that a structural fault triggered the collapse.

Slim said on Tuesday the line did not have any problems when it opened.

"We are convinced that from the start it had no problem... it was done by the best engineers in Mexico," Slim told reporters after meeting with the president on Tuesday.

He noted that international experts approved the project for its 2012 opening and the railway had since carried millions of people.

The consortium that built the full line - Grupo Carso, Mexico's Grupo ICA and France's Alstom - oversaw maintenance for the first year and had another three years to detect any hidden defects, which did not arise, Slim said.

Lopez Obrador said Slim made his offer independently from the government's investigation into the collapse, and that Slim would discuss with Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum how to proceed.

"He is not going to wait for the judicial process," Lopez Obrador said.

A representative for Slim declined to comment on Lopez Obrador's remarks on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Daina Beth Solomon, Cassandra Garrison and Sharay AnguloEditing by Chizu Nomiyama and Diane Craft)

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