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Mexico City says subway accident caused by cut wires, excessive speed


MEXICO CITY — Mexico City prosecutors said on Friday that cut cables and a speeding driver were responsible for a Jan. 7 subway crash that killed one person and injured dozens.

Between stations, one subway train crashed into another, leading city officials to suspect sabotage, though many city residents see the problem as a lack of maintenance.

Prosecutor spokesman Ulises Lara said a cable serving the subway’s control system was damaged by “intentional burning and cutting”. He said an investigation into possible sabotage would be opened.

But Lara also said that the driver of the train who hit the back of another would be charged with murder and causing injury. Lara said the driver may have exceeded a speed limit of 22 miles per hour (35 km/h).

Problems with the signaling system were known before the crash and drivers also had to wait for orders to continue, even though they had a green light. In this case, the driver may not have followed those instructions.

Lara also said that a Jan. 15 incident in which two subways became detached was due to “manipulations with intent to cause a serious incident.”

Subway accidents are a recurring embarrassment for Mexico City mayor Claudia Sheinbaum, who is considered the most likely candidate of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s Morena party to succeed him in the 2024 election.

In May 2021, an elevated section of the subway system collapsed, killing 26 people and injuring nearly 100. An investigation blamed deficiencies in the line’s construction, and 10 former officials have been charged with murder, battery and damage to property, though none have been charged. put in prison.

Like the president, Sheinbaum often attributes setbacks to a conservative plot against her.

Shortly after the January 7 subway accident, López Obrador ordered 6,000 National Guard officers to patrol the subway platforms.

Mexico City’s metro system has 226.5 kilometers (141 mi) of track and 195 stations. It serves an average of 4.6 million passengers every day and is one of the cheapest subway systems in the world, with a ticket for a ride anywhere in the system costing about 25 cents.

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