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Monday, June 24, 2024

Stage Collapse at Mexican Campaign Rally Leaves at Least 9 Dead

A stage in San Pedro Garza García, a northern Mexican city, collapsed on Wednesday night during a campaign event, leaving at least nine people dead and 56 others injured. The incident occurred as strong winds swept through the area, officials reported.

The stage had been set up in San Pedro Garza García, a suburb of Monterrey in the state of Nuevo León, for a campaign event attended by Jorge Álvarez Máynez, a presidential hopeful from the progressive Citizens’ Movement party. The event was part of the mayoral campaign for Lorenia Canavati, the party’s candidate. According to President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the collapse was caused by powerful wind gusts.

Samuel García, the governor of Nuevo León, confirmed on social media that among the deceased was a child. Miguel Treviño, the mayor of San Pedro Garza García, stated in a video that all the injured were promptly transported to hospitals for treatment.

The tragedy struck as the stage, erected on a baseball field, gave way under the force of the wind. This led to the immediate cancellation of all scheduled events for the Citizens’ Movement party’s candidates on Thursday. The party described the wind as “hurricane-like” and expressed deep sorrow for the lives lost and those injured.

Jorge Álvarez Máynez recounted the harrowing experience to reporters. He first noticed the severity of the wind when it nearly blew away the drum set of the band scheduled to perform that evening. As the stage began to collapse, he and others jumped off to avoid being trapped.

Following the collapse, Álvarez Máynez assured his followers on social media that he was unharmed and was actively communicating with state authorities to understand the full scope of the incident. Lorenia Canavati also stated that her team was working closely with authorities to provide support to the victims and their families.

Mexico’s meteorological service had warned of wind gusts up to 43 miles per hour in the northeast part of the country on Wednesday evening, with the possibility of tornadoes in Nuevo León and nearby states. Governor García urged residents to seek shelter from the impending storm, cautioning that the region was expected to face severe weather conditions, including electric storms, strong winds, and heavy rain, for the next few hours.

The collapse has cast a shadow over the campaign period leading up to Mexico’s general elections on June 2, where voters will select a new president along with over 20,000 local, state, and congressional positions. The Citizens’ Movement, a center-left party established in 1999, has been positioning itself as a viable third-party option in the elections. Jorge Álvarez Máynez, the party’s presidential candidate, presents himself as an alternative to the front-runner Claudia Sheinbaum from the ruling Morena party’s coalition and the opposition’s Xóchitl Gálvez.

The tragic incident underscores the risks and uncertainties faced during large public gatherings, especially in the face of unpredictable weather. As the community of San Pedro Garza García grapples with the aftermath, the focus remains on providing care for the injured and support for the families of those who lost their lives. The Citizens’ Movement party has pledged to ensure all necessary measures are taken to assist the victims and to prevent such tragedies in the future.

As Mexico approaches the pivotal elections, the events of Wednesday night serve as a somber reminder of the importance of safety and preparedness in all public activities, especially in volatile weather conditions. The incident also highlights the resilience and solidarity of the Mexican people as they come together to support those affected by this disaster.

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