Stage collapses at campaign rally in Mexico, killing at least 9

Police vehicles and ambulances are seen at the site after a gust of wind caused a structure to collapse at a campaign event Wednesday for the Citizens' Movement party in San Pedro Garza Garcia, Nuevo Leon. (Daniel Becerril/REUTERS)

MEXICO CITY — A stage in northern Mexico where a presidential hopeful was campaigning for a local candidate collapsed after a gust of wind blew through Wednesday night, leaving at least nine people dead and at least 70 others injured, a state governor said.

The stage collapsed in San Pedro Garza García, a suburb of Monterrey in the state of Nuevo León, during an event attended by the progressive candidate Jorge Álvarez Máynez and other members of the Citizens’ Movement party. The collapse was caused by strong wind, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador of Mexico said on social media.


The wind picked up suddenly as candidates were chanting campaign slogans onstage, videos posted to social media showed. As the stage lighting truss slammed to the ground, people rushed off the stage to avoid getting crushed. Others in the crowd ran away screaming, some holding one another in the intense wind.

Samuel García, the governor of Nuevo León, announced the death toll and injuries to reporters early Thursday, saying on social media that one of those killed was a child. Seventy were hospitalized with moderate to severe injuries, he said, and 11 others had been discharged.

López Obrador expressed his support for the victims as well the Citizens’ Movement party during his morning news conference Thursday. “We send our condolences to the families of those who lost their lives, we are very sorry,” he said.

The stage, which had been erected on a baseball field, was the site of a campaign event for the Citizens’ Movement party’s candidate for the city’s mayoral election, Lorenia Canavati.

Álvarez Máynez, who was not injured, told reporters he had first noticed the strength of the wind when he saw it almost sweep away the drum set belonging to the band that was scheduled to play that night. As the stage collapsed, he and others jumped off, he said.

“It is terrible that the people who came to enjoy a day of celebration, of joy, with us, with the band, are now victims of this tragedy,” Álvarez Máynez said.

Álvarez Máynez said on social media that he was communicating with state authorities to determine what had happened. Canavati said that her team was coordinating with the authorities to support the victims.

The party said that it had canceled all of its candidates’ scheduled events for Thursday after “hurricane-like winds” knocked down the stage.

Mexico’s meteorological service said Wednesday evening that wind gusts of up to about 43 mph were expected in the country’s northeast and that tornadoes were possible in Nuevo León and nearby states.

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