Nine dead as stage collapses at Mexico election rally

Friday, May 24, 2024

MEXICO CITY: An election rally in northern Mexico descended into tragedy after a gust of wind sent the stage careening into the crowd on Wednesday night, killing at least nine people, including a child, authorities said.

At least 50 other people were injured in the accident, some seriously, according to Nuevo Leon Governor Samuel Garcia. Footage of the incident showed a chaotic scramble as people screamed and tried to leap away from the collapsing structure while the lights and a giant screen toppled onto the area where presidential candidate Jorge Alvarez Maynez and members of his Citizens´ Movement party were standing.

“I regret to report that so far the number of people killed in the accident stands at eight adults and one minor,” Governor Garcia wrote on social media platform X, adding that at least three people were undergoing surgery. Speaking to the press from the scene of the accident in the town of San Pedro Garza Garcia, he described the accident as “a tragedy.” Presidential longshot Maynez, who escaped without serious injury, said the stage collapsed after a strong gust of wind.

“I am fine and in communication with the authorities” over what happened, the 38-year-old wrote on X, adding that the priority was to take care of the victims.Medical teams carted bodies on orange stretchers into waiting vans as soldiers roamed a field littered with debris and muddied campaign posters.

Rally attendee Jose Juan said he saw the structure come crashing down. “It hit me on the head and I fainted. The rest was pure hysteria, pure panic,” he told broadcaster Televisa.