9 Dead, Including Minor, In Mexico Stage Disaster

A sudden and devastating turn of events unfolded at a political rally in northern Mexico, where a gust of wind caused the stage to collapse, claiming the lives of at least nine people, including a child, according to official reports.

Wednesday night’s incident also left at least 78 others wounded, with some sustaining severe injuries, as reported by Nuevo Leon State Governor Samuel Garcia.

Viral footage captured the pandemonium as the structure crumbled, with terrified onlookers shrieking and desperately attempting to flee the wreckage.

A chaotic scene erupted as a massive screen and stage lights collapsed onto the stage, forcing Jorge Alvarez Maynez, a presidential aspirant, and his Citizens’ Movement party colleagues to flee for their lives, dodging the falling wreckage in a heart-stopping escape.

“I regret to report that so far the number of people killed in the accident stands at eight adults and one minor,” Garcia wrote on social media platform X, adding that at least three people were undergoing surgery.

Speaking to the press from the rally site in San Pedro Garza Garcia, he described the incident as “a tragedy.”

Presidential longshot Maynez, 38, who escaped without serious injury, said the structure was brought down by gusting winds “that lasted five minutes.”

The incident was “not a predictable climate phenomenon as has been speculated,” he said, calling for “absolute transparency” in the investigation.

“I saw a lot of fallen trees… It is really atypical what happened,” Maynez told reporters in San Pedro Garza Garcia, part of the industrial city of Monterrey’s metropolitan area.

Mexico’s meteorological service had warned of heavy rain, wind gusts of up to 70 kilometers (43 miles) per hour and possible tornadoes in Nuevo Leon and other northern states on Wednesday night.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said the incident must be investigated, while offering his condolences to those impacted as well as the political party.

“We know that they are not responsible, they are having their meetings like everyone else now that we are in the electoral campaign,” he told a press conference. Lopez Obrador said most of the victims were women, without giving further details.

Read also: Ghastly Bus Accident Leaves 14 Dead, 31 Injured In Mexico

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 stage come crashing down. “It hit me on the head and I fainted. The rest was pure hysteria, pure panic,” he told broadcaster Televisa.

Citizens’ Movement member Javier Gonzalez-Alcantara told Televisa that first responders had to pull people trapped underneath the collapsed structure.

“All the people who were under the stage were rescued and the injured were taken to the hospitals,” he said.

The event was the closing campaign rally for Citizens’ Movement candidate for mayor of San Pedro Garza Garcia, Lorenia Canavati. Candidates for the centrist party at the senate and local level also participated.

Maynez, who suspended his upcoming campaign events to remain in San Pedro Garza Garcia, said that members of his team were receiving medical treatment, without specifying their injuries. The other two presidential candidates also expressed solidarity with those affected.

Frontrunner Claudia Sheinbaum said that she was canceling a rally planned for Thursday in Monterrey, and expressed “solidarity with the family and friends of the victims.”

Main opposition presidential candidate Xochitl Galvez offered “condolences and prayers” to the families of those killed and “wishes for a speedy recovery to all the injured.”

Mexicans will head to the polls on June 2 to elect a new leader, as well as members of Congress, governors for several states, and local officials, in a pivotal vote that will shape the country’s future.

Africa Today News, New York 

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