Mexico election rally sees nine dead and dozens injured as stage collapses

Monterrey, Mexico - An election rally in northern Mexico descended into tragedy after a gust of wind sent the stage careening into the crowd, killing at least nine people, including a child, authorities said.

Forensic personnel move a body after a stage collapsed during a campaign rally for Mexican presidential candidate Jorge Alvarez Maynez in Mexico, on Wednesday.
Forensic personnel move a body after a stage collapsed during a campaign rally for Mexican presidential candidate Jorge Alvarez Maynez in Mexico, on Wednesday.  © Julio Cesar AGUILAR / AFP

At least 78 other people were injured in the accident Wednesday night, some seriously, according to Nuevo Leon state governor Samuel Garcia.

Footage showed a chaotic scramble as people screamed and tried to leap away from the collapsing structure.

Lights and a giant screen toppled onto the stage as presidential candidate Jorge Alvarez Maynez and members of his Citizens' Movement party ran from the falling debris.

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Mexico's meteorological service had warned of heavy rain, wind gusts of up to 43 miles per hour and possible tornadoes in Nuevo Leon and other northern states on Wednesday night.

Mexican politicians speak out on election rally tragedy

A member of forensic services inspects the area where a stage collapsed the day before.
A member of forensic services inspects the area where a stage collapsed the day before.  © Julio Cesar AGUILAR / AFP

"I regret to report that so far the number of people killed in the accident stands at eight adults and one minor," Garcia wrote on social media platform X, adding that at least three people were undergoing surgery.

Speaking to the press from the rally site in San Pedro Garza Garcia, he described the incident as "a tragedy."

Presidential longshot Maynez, who escaped without serious injury, said the structure was brought down by gusting winds "that lasted five minutes."

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The incident was "not a predictable climate phenomenon as has been speculated," he said, calling for "absolute transparency" in the investigation.

"I saw a lot of fallen trees... It is really atypical what happened," Maynez told reporters in San Pedro Garza Garcia, part of the industrial city of Monterrey's metropolitan area.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said the incident must be investigated while offering his condolences to those impacted as well as the political party.

"We know that they are not responsible, they are having their meetings like everyone else now that we are in the electoral campaign," he told a press conference.

Lopez Obrador said most of the victims were women, without giving further details.

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Members of the National Guard guard the area where a stage collapsed the day before during a campaign rally for Mexican presidential candidate Jorge Alvarez Maynez.
Members of the National Guard guard the area where a stage collapsed the day before during a campaign rally for Mexican presidential candidate Jorge Alvarez Maynez.  © Julio Cesar AGUILAR / AFP

The event was the closing campaign rally for the Citizens' Movement candidate for mayor of San Pedro Garza Garcia, Lorenia Canavati.

Candidates for the centrist party at the Senate and local level also participated.

Maynez, who suspended his upcoming campaign events to remain in San Pedro Garza Garcia, said that members of his team were receiving medical treatment without specifying their injuries.

The other two presidential candidates also expressed solidarity with those affected.

Frontrunner Claudia Sheinbaum said that she was canceling a rally planned for Thursday in Monterrey and expressed "solidarity with the family and friends of the victims."

Main opposition presidential candidate Xochitl Galvez offered "condolences and prayers" to the families of those killed and "wishes for a speedy recovery to all the injured."

On June 2, Mexicans will vote for a new president as well as members of Congress, several state governors, and local officials.

The lead-up to election day has been marred by violence, with more than two dozen politicians killed since the electoral process began last September, according to research group Data Civica.

Cover photo: Julio Cesar AGUILAR / AFP

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