Controversies Around Line 12's ConstructionBy Lorenzo Núñez | Thu, 05/06/2021 - 09:28
A series of unfortunate events led to the avoidable tragedy of Mexico City metro´s overpass collapse where 25 people lost their lives and more than 80 were sent to emergency rooms.
Line 12, considered the city´s newest subway terminal was built by the consortium Carso, Alstom, and Ingenieros Civiles Asociados (ICA).
Problems began as soon as construction started on October 30, 2012 of 2012, due to an erroneous choice in the type of trains whose wheels caused constant wear on the rail tracks, as well the implementation of low-quality materials. In addition, the construction budget was set for US$838 million and it ended up being over US$2 billion, reported Infobae.
A year and a half into the train’s operation, Metro´s General Director Joel Ortega, announced that half of the line (from Tláhuac to Atlalilco stations) would be closed for at least six months due to undulatory wear of the tracks, placing the safety of passengers at risk. This situation affected more than 450,000 daily commuters, according to Infobae. Nevertheless, Line 12 ended up being closed for 20 months and the local government reported that there were 86 inquiries set into process due to failures in the construction.
On November of 2013, the company ILF (consulting engineers), which was part of the Line 12 certifying consortium hired by the Metro DF Project, issued a report stating that there was a lack of preventive and corrective maintenance on the track system.
Four years later after the September 19, 2017 earthquake, Metro users warned of dangerous cracks in some of the columns, resulting in closing six stations once again. According to Metro´s officials damages had been repaired. Despite these confirmations, people who live nearby the Metro, as well as users expressed publicly their fears stating that the structure could collapse, and it did.
Thousands of social media users blame former Mexico City´s mayor Marcelo Ebrard, who is currently Mexico´s Minister of Foreign Affairs. “What happened today in the metro is a terrible tragedy. My solidarity goes to all the victims and their families. Causes must be investigated and responsibilities defined. I place myself at the disposal of authorities and will contribute in any way necessary,” he expressed in a tweet.