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Mexico: nine dead and 50 injured in marquee collapse during election rally

An electoral rally turned into a crime scene. to the drama Wednesday evening in northern Mexico, when a marquee collapsedé after a gust of wind, killing at least nine people including a child, according to the authorities.

At least 50 other people were injured, some seriously according to Samuel García, the governor of the state of Nuevo León (north-east), where the accident occurred.

According to images posted on social networks, the pillars supporting a podium collapsed under the effect of a gust of wind and a giant screen fell on the stage where was presidential candidate Jorge Álvarez Máynez and other members of the centrist Movimiento Ciudadano party.

“I regret to inform you that the number of people killed in the accident is eight adults and one minor,” said Samuel García, on the social network surgical intervention.

A little earlier, speaking to the press at the scene of the accident, the governor had described the accident as a “tragedy”.

The tragedy occurred in the town of San Pedro Garza, which is part of the metropolitan area of ​​the industrial center of Monterrey, capital of Nuevo León.

The marquee that housed the presidential candidate's podium collapsed as the region experienced thunderstorms, strong winds and heavy rain, the governor said.

Other images published on X show people being pulled out of a pile of iron structures.

Mexico: nine dead and 50 injured in marquee collapse during election rally

Rescuers evacuate the body of a victim after the collapse of a marquee on the stage of the campaign rally of presidential candidate Jorge Alvarez Maynez, on May 22, 2024 in San Pedro Garza, in the state of Nuevo Leon, in Mexico © AFP – Julio Cesar AGUILAR

Álvarez Máynez, 38, third in the polls for the June 2 elections, and other members of his party managed to run to safety.

“I am fine and am in communication with the authorities to follow the progress of what happened. The most important thing at the moment is to take care of the victims of the accident,” Mr. Maynez wrote on X.

< P > Medical teams were seen carrying bodies on orange stretchers to waiting van, while soldiers roamed a field strewn with debris and campaign posters stained with mud.

Mr. Maynez's party announced in a statement that it was suspending all campaign events “in solidarity with the victims”.

– “Hysteria” and “panic” –

“All the people who were under the scene were evacuated and the injured were taken to the hospital,” said Javier González Alcántara, deputy of Movimiento Ciudadano, on the Televisa channel.

Mexico: nine dead and 50 injured in marquee collapse during election rally

Collapse of a marquee on the stage of the campaign meeting of presidential candidate Jorge Alvarez Maynez, May 22, 2024 in San Pedro Garza, in the state of Nuevo Leon, Mexico © AFP – Julio Cesar AGUILAR

“Suddenly”, the structure “collapsed, hit me in the head and I fainted, the rest was just pure hysteria, pure panic”, one of the participants in the meeting added on Televisa, José Juan, recounting how the marquee had collapsed on the candidates and the public.

The Mexican meteorological service had announced wind gusts reaching 70 km/h and possible tornadoes, particularly in Nuevo Leon during the night from Wednesday to Thursday.

The meeting marked the end of the campaign of the Movimiento Ciudadano candidate for mayor of San Pedro, Lorenia Canavati, who was accompanied by Álvarez Máynez. Senate and Congressional candidates from the same party were also present.

In a message posted on social media, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador expressed his compassion for the family members and friends of the victims.

Claudia Sheinbaum , candidate of the ruling left party and big favorite for the presidency, expressed her “solidarity with the family and friends of the victims”. She announced that she was canceling a rally planned for Thursday in Monterrey.

“From the bottom of my heart, I hope that no one was seriously hurt by what happened during the Movimiento Ciudadano event in Nuevo León”, declared Xóchitl Gálvez, candidate of the center-right opposition, on X.

– Growing Notoriety –

Álvarez Máynez gained notoriety thanks to his presence on social networks and his participation in the obligatory presidential debates, during which he tried to present an independent image of himself, avoiding personal attacks against the competing candidates.< /p>

Mexico: nine dead and 50 injured in marquee collapse during election rally

The candidate of the centrist party Movimiento Ciudadano for the presidential election Jorge Alvarez Maynez, April 28, 2024 in Mexico City © AFP – CARL DE SOUZA

Close to the governor of Nuevo León, who also belongs to the Movimiento Ciudadano, he was a federal deputy in the Mexican Congress before entering the race for president.

< p>In recent days, opposition parties have asked him to step down in favor of Ms. Gálvez, which he has refused to do.

The Mexico is preparing to experience the most important elections in its history on June 2, during which the president, members of Congress, 9 of the 32 governors and thousands of local officials will be elected.

In total, a little more than 20,000 positions are to be filled in a campaign marked by the violence of organized crime, with a total of 30 candidates killed since the start of the electoral campaign on September 23, according to the 'NGO Data Cívica.

All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2024) Agence France-Presse

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116