June 14th, 2024

Mexican president says high wind toppled a stage at a campaign rally, killing 4 and injuring 15

By The Associated Press on May 22, 2024.

MEXICO CITY (AP) – Mexico’s president confirmed Wednesday night that the collapse of a stage during a campaign rally in northern Mexico has killed four people and injured 15.

The stage collapse, caused by a strong gust of wind, occurred during an event attended by presidential long-shot candidate Jorge Álvarez Máynez, who was sent flying by the wind.

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said he “sends a hug to family members, friends of the victims and political supporters.”

Videos of the collapse painted social media on Wednesday night, showing people screaming, running away and climbing out from under metal polls.

Máynez wrote in his social media accounts that he went to a hospital after the accident at a campaign rally in the wealthy suburb of San Pedro Garza Garcia, near the city of Monterrey. He while he was well, there were “victims” of the dramatic crash.

“The only important thing at this point is to care for the victims of the accident,” he wrote.

Samuel Garcia, the governor of the northern border state of Nuevo Leon and a leading member of Álvarez Máynez’s Citizens Movement party, said in a taped statement that “unfortunately, there are (people) injured.”

Miguel Treviño, the mayor of San Pedro Garza Garcia, wrote in his social media accounts that “there are people reported trapped and injured. My prayers are with the victims.”

Garcia said the “strong winds blew down a stage at a campaign closer.” Such events are being held this week and next in anticipation o f the June 2 presidential, state and municipal elections.

Video of the accident posted on social media showed Máynez waving his arm as the crowd chanted his name. But then he looked up to see a giant screen and metal structure toppling toward him.

Álvarez Máynez ran very rapidly toward the back of the stage to avoid the falling structure, which appeared to consist of relatively light framework pieces as well as what appeared to be a screen with the party’s logo and theater-style lights.

Álvarez Máynez has been running third in polls in the presidential race, trailing both front-runner Claudia Sheinbaum of the ruling Morena Party, and opposition coalition candidate Xóchitl Gálvez.

The campaign has so far been plagued by the killings of about two dozen candidates for local offices. But it has not been marred by campaign accidents.

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