Mon, 29 Nov 2021

MEXICO CITY, Mexico: On Wednesday, telecom and construction magnate Carlos Slim, Mexico's richest person, reached an agreement with the Mexico City government to rebuild an elevated subway line that collapsed in May.

His construction subsidiary, Grupo Carso, would pay for the reconstruction and help reinforce other parts of the elevated line to higher standards, as the city is plagued by severe earthquakes, Slim said.

The agreement is not an admission of responsibility for the collapse and would not "materially affect" its business, Grupo Carso said in a statement to the Mexican stock market.

Last week, Mexico City prosecutors announced criminal charges, including negligent or involuntary homicide, damages and causing injuries, against 10 "individuals and companies" for the collapse, which killed 26 people.

Local media reported those charged include former city officials, but no arrest warrants have been issued. Those involved have been told to appear at an initial hearing on 25th October.

Prosecutors say expert studies found the collapse was caused by construction defects, such as poor welds and missing connection studs, while inadequate design could have also played a role.

The defects distorted the train line's framework, leading to "fatigue cracks" that reduced the structure's ability to bear weight.

The line was closed in 2014 just 17 months after it was launched to repair its tracks. The section that collapsed has remained closed since May.

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