World

Nine dead – including a child – after stage collapses at presidential campaign rally

Nine people – including a child – have been killed and another 50 injured after a stage collapsed during a presidential campaign rally in Mexico.

Video footage of the collapse posted on social media showed people screaming, running away and climbing out from under metal polls at the event for presidential candidate Jorge Alvarez Maynez in the northern state of Nuevo Leon.

Mr Maynez, who represents the centrist Citizens’ Movement party, said he was taken to hospital in the city of San Pedro Garza Garcia for treatment but is “okay” and suspending campaign activities.

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

Footage shared online showed Mr Maynez waving to the crowd as supporters chanted his name, before he looked up to see a giant screen and metal structure toppling towards him.

He ran to the back of the stage to avoid the falling structure.

The city’s mayor Miguel Trevino said “there are people reported trapped”.

Governor Samuel Garcia confirmed on social media that eight adults and a child had died.

He said “strong winds blew down a stage at a campaign” and warned residents to stay indoors amid thunderstorms in the area – citing the weather as contributing to the incident.

“I ask God for a lot of strength for the families of the deceased and injured. We are with you,” he added.

A view of the structure that collapsed. Pic: Reuters
Image:
People were reportedly trapped under the structure. Pic: Reuters

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who can’t run in the 2 June election, said he “sends a hug to family members, friends of the victims and political supporters”. Mexican presidents cannot seek re-election and serve only one six-year term.

Condolences poured in from across Mexico, including from other presidential candidates.

A Mexican Red Cross rescuer gives a girl treatment. Pic: Reuters
Image:
Around 50 people at the rally were injured. Pic: Reuters

Mr Maynez is polling in third place, trailing behind ruling party candidate Claudia Sheinbaum and second-place Xochitl Galvez, who represents a broad opposition coalition.

Read more:
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Ms Galvez offered condolences for the families of the victims in a post on social media, while expressing solidarity with her competitor Mr Maynez.

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

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