9 dead, 54 injured as wind causes stage collapse at Mexico election rally | CNN

9 dead, 54 injured as wind causes stage collapse at Mexico election rally | CNN

Alberto Lopez/AP

Security forces cordon off the area after a stage collapsed due to a gust of wind in San Pedro Garza García on May 22, 2024.



CNN
 — 

Nine people were killed and a presidential candidate was briefly taken to hospital after a stage collapsed under heavy winds at a campaign rally in Mexico on Wednesday.

Candidate Jorge Álvarez Máynez said he was not injured in the incident, which happened during his campaign event in the northeastern city of San Pedro Garza García.

The governor of Mexico’s Nuevo Leon state said at least 54 people were injured and rescue operations were ongoing to save some of the people trapped under the collapsed stage.

Among the dead is one minor, Governor Samuel García said in a post on X, adding that some of the injured are stable while others are undergoing surgery.

Videos shared on social media showed the moment a strong gust caused the stage to collapse. Álvarez Máynez and his team can be seen running for cover as the structure, which included a large video screen, falls onto the stage and part of the audience area.

Mexico’s meteorological service had forecast powerful winds across the region, warning of gusts of up to 70 kilometers per hour (43 miles per hour) beginning Wednesday afternoon.

Álvarez Máynez later said he was suspending all campaign activities after the collapse but would remain in the state to monitor the situation and victims.

“We have to have solidarity, there is nothing that can repair an accident, a damage of this nature, and [people] will not be alone in this tragedy and through the consequences that this tragedy will have in their lives,” Álvarez Máynez said.

Alberto Lopez/AP

Security forces stand around a stage that collapsed due to a gust of wind during an event attended by presidential candidate Jorge Álvarez Máynez in San Pedro Garza García, on May 22, 2024.

Speaking to reporters, Álvarez Máynez said Civil Defense teams had checked the “structure of the set” prior to the event but that the severity of the wind gusts had caught organizers by surprise.

“The weather conditions were very atypical: the rain didn’t last for even five minutes… it wasn’t even a storm, it was truly atypical what happened,” he said.

The presidential candidate said an investigation into the incident would take place.

Governor García urged people in the area to stay indoors, warning of more strong winds, thunderstorms and rain.

Mexico heads toward its largest election in history on June 2, which has been marred by spiking political violence and assassinations.

So far this year, at least 28 candidates have been attacked, with 16 killed, according to data through April 1 from the research group Data Cívica, a figure set to outpace even the bloodiest election cycles in Mexico’s past.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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