23 May 2024, 10:28
Update : 23 May 2024, 12:53

At least 5 dead in stage collapse at Mexico campaign rally

MEXICO CITY, May 23, 2024 (BSS/AFP) - A stage collapsed in northern Mexico
on Wednesday as strong winds gusted through a presidential candidate's
campaign rally, leaving at least five people dead and around 50 others
injured, authorities said.

Images of the accident showed a crowd fleeing as the structure supporting the
stage toppled over and a giant screen fell on the stage where longshot
presidential candidate Jorge Alvarez Maynez and members of his Citizens'
Movement party were standing.

"At the moment, unfortunately five people lost their lives and 50 have
moderate and serious injuries," the governor of the northern state of Nuevo
Leon, Samuel Garcia, wrote on social media platform X.

Speaking to the press from the scene, he described the accident as "a

Maynez, 38, said that he was safe following the accident in the town of San
Pedro Garza Garcia, which is part of the greater metropolitan area of the
city of Monterrey in Nuevo Leon.

"I am fine and in communication with the authorities" over what happened,
Maynez wrote on X, adding that the priority was to take care of the victims.

He said that he would remain at the scene until the last injured person was
taken to hospital.

Some members of his team were being treated at the hospital, according to
Maynez, who according to polls is in third place ahead of the June 2
presidential election.

He lags far behind both frontrunner Claudia Sheinbaum and main opposition
presidential candidate Xochitl Galvez in surveys.

In a post on social media, outgoing President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador
offered his sympathies to the family members and friends of the victims.

He said the campaign rally accident was caused by strong winds.

Maynez's party said in a statement that he would suspend all campaign events
"in solidarity with those affected."

Jose Juan, who was at the rally, recounted how the structure came crashing
down on the candidates and their supporters.

"It hit me on the head and I fainted. The rest was pure hysteria, pure
panic," he told broadcaster Televisa.

The other two presidential candidates also expressed solidarity with those

"I hope with all my heart that there are no serious injuries," opposition
candidate Galvez wrote on social media before the deaths were confirmed.

On June 2, Mexicans will vote for a new president as well as members of
Congress, several state governors and local officials.

In total, more than 20,000 positions are being contested.

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