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News / Nation & World

Stage collapse at a campaign rally in northern Mexico kills 9

Another 121 injured during presidential candidate’s event

By ALBERTO MENDOZA, Associated Press
Published: May 23, 2024, 4:47pm

SAN PEDRO GARZA GARCIA, Mexico — The collapse of a stage in heavy winds at a campaign rally in northern Mexico has killed at least nine people, including a child, and injured 121, the governor of Nuevo Leon state said Thursday.

The collapse occurred during an event Wednesday evening attended by presidential long-shot candidate Jorge Álvarez Máynez, who ran to escape. Videos of the collapse on social media showed people screaming, running away and climbing out from under metal polls.

The victims “will not be alone in this tragedy,” Máynez told reporters Wednesday night, adding that he had suspended upcoming campaign events.

Afterward, soldiers, police and other officials roamed the grounds of the park where the event took place while many nearby sat stunned and haunted by the tragedy.

In a video message, Nuevo Leon Gov. Samuel Garcia, a leading member of Máynez’s Citizens Movement party, said 94 of the injured were treated and released, but that 27 remained hospitalized. State health authorities said a lot of the injuries involved skull fractures. Garcia said several victims were undergoing surgery and some appeared to be in critical condition.

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said most of the injured were women. He absolved Máynez’s Citizens Movement party — widely viewed as an implicit ally of López Obrador’s Morena party — of blame even before investigations were carried out.

“We know that they are not to blame,” the president said Thursday. Condolences poured in from across Mexico, including from the other two presidential candidates.