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Mexico City subway accident investigation blames structural failure By Reuters

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Mexico City subway accident investigation blames structural failure By Reuters
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: An image of the site of a deadly subway overpass accident that collapsed last month and killed 26 people, in Mexico City, Mexico, on June 14, 2021. REUTERS / Luis Cortes

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Preliminary findings from an independent investigation into the deadly collapse of a Mexico City subway rail line last month showed the accident was caused by structural failure, a senior official from Mexico City said on Wednesday. the city.

Jesús Esteva, head of the public works department of Mexico City, said that the investigation by the Norwegian firm DNV observed deficiencies in the construction materials used, including the bolts and the deformation of the structural supports in the part of the line that collapse.

The initial report from DNV, an external auditor, found “six deficiencies in the construction process” that helped cause the accident.

“The foregoing allows us to present, in a preliminary way, that the incident was caused by a structural failure,” Esteva said at a press conference. Officials did not allow questions from reporters.

More reports on the accident will be released in the coming months, said Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum.

Identified deficiencies included bolt welding and their attachment to beams, missing bolts in some beams, different types of concrete used and unfinished or poorly executed welds, the city said.

The collapse, the largest train accident in Mexico in years, killed 26 people and put pressure on close allies of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, as well as Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, the richest man in Latin America.

The incident highlighted Slim’s construction business, Grupo Carso, which was involved in building the section of the Line 12 subway route that collapsed.

Grupo Carso said in a statement that it would not comment until the final report on the accident is released.

Sheinbaum has faced questions about the maintenance of the line, and criticism has also been directed at Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard, who was the promoter of the construction of Line 12 when he was mayor of the capital from 2006 to 2012.

Both are close allies of López Obrador and are seen as possible successors to him in 2024 when his term ends.

In response to the initial findings, Ebrard released a two-page statement defending how his administration built the line and said that, in addition to the final technical report, a broader investigation should be conducted to review “the entire decision-making process in the design, distribution, supervision and maintenance of the work ”, as well as various studies on it in recent years.

The metro was built by a consortium of the Mexican ICA, Grupo Carso and the French train manufacturer. Alstom (HAPPENS.

Last month, Alstom said its role was limited to supplying power, signaling, monitoring and control systems and some warehouse equipment, as well as testing some systems.

The company will review the preliminary findings and had no further comment, a spokesperson said.

ICA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In May, ICA shared a document with a graphic showing that it had built sections of Line 12 that span 15 stations and Carso five. Carso’s section included where the track fell.

Sheinbaum said DNV will oversee the main fault analysis and will contact the companies involved in the line later today.

Line 12 had been repeatedly reviewed and declared safe by officials since it opened in 2012, but problems led to partial closures from 2014 to 2015 for repairs.

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