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Mexico: Several killed as stage collapses at campaign rally

May 23, 2024

At least nine people have died at an event for presidential candidate Jorge Alvarez Maynez in Nuevo Leon after a stage collapsed in a strong gust of wind.

Emergency vehicles and personnel at night, puddles on ground, red light
The incident occurred in San Pedro Garza GarciaImage: Daniel Becerril/REUTERS

An accident at a campaign event in northern Mexico on Wednesday night attended by presidential candidate Jorge Alvarez Maynez has claimed at least nine lives and injured dozens more, the local governor has confirmed.

The casualties occurred when a strong gust of wind blew down a stage at the rally for the Citizens' Movement party, which was being held ahead of presidential, state and municipal elections on June 2.

What do we know about the accident?

The governor of the state of Nuevo Leon, Samuel Garcia, has said at least 63 people were injured in addition to the at least nine who died, who reportedly included one child.

The candidate Maynez, 38, who is considered to have little chance of winning the election, said he was not injured in the accident at the rally in the town of San Pedro Garza, but that there were "victims" who needed care.

He said some members of his team had been taken to hospital for treatment and that he would be suspending upcoming campaign events.

Local media broadcast images showing a giant screen toppling over during the event.

Miguel Trevino, the mayor of San Pedro Garza Garcia, wrote on social media that "there are people reported trapped and injured. My prayers are with the victims."

Jorge Alvarez Maynez clapping his hands
Maynez himself went briefly to hospital following the accientImage: Carlos A. Moreno/ZUMA/picture alliance

Mexican officials offer condolences

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said he "sends a hug to family members, friends of the victims and political supporters."

Front-runner Claudia Sheinbaum of the ruling Morena Party and opposition coalition candidate Xochitl Galvez both sent their condolences, and Sheinbaum canceled a campaign event the next day "in solidarity" with victims and their loved ones.

So far, Wednesday's disaster is the only reported accident from the election campaign. However, about two dozen candidates for local offices have been killed during the campaign.

tj/rt (AFP, AP)