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At least 9 killed, 50 injured as wind gust brings down stage at Mexican campaign rally

Mexican security forces secure the scene of a stage collapse at a political rally in northern Nuevo Leon state where nine people were killed and more than 50 were injured after powerful winds brought down the structure in a suburb of Monterrey. Photo by Miguel Sierra/EPA-EFE
Mexican security forces secure the scene of a stage collapse at a political rally in northern Nuevo Leon state where nine people were killed and more than 50 were injured after powerful winds brought down the structure in a suburb of Monterrey. Photo by Miguel Sierra/EPA-EFE

May 23 (UPI) -- Powerful winds brought down a stage at a presidential election campaign rally in northwestern Mexico killing nine people, including a child, and injuring dozens.

At least 50 people were hurt and emergency workers were still on the scene in the Monterrey suburb of San Pedro Garza Garcia working to pull victims from beneath the wreckage of the collapsed stage, Nuevo Leon state Gov. Samuel Garcia said in a post on X early Thursday.

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He said he had visited three area hospitals treating the injured and that three people were undergoing surgery and the remainder were in stable condition.

"If you can, avoid going out because there are storms and atypical winds. I will keep you informed," said Garcia.

The candidate for whom the event was being held, the Citizen Movement party's Jorge Alvarez Maynez, confirmed that he was unhurt in the incident but would suspend the remainder of his campaign activities.

He pledged an investigation into the tragedy.

"We have to have solidarity, there is nothing that can repair an accident, a damage of this nature, and [people] will not be alone in this tragedy and through the consequences that this tragedy will have on their lives," said Alvarez Maynez.

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Front-runner Claudia Sheinbaum of the ruling Morena Party canceled an event her campaign had planned for Friday in nearby Monterrey.

"In solidarity with what happened tonight at the Citizen Movement event in San Pedro, Nuevo Leon, we have decided to cancel the rally scheduled for tomorrow at 6 p.m. in Monterrey. Our solidarity with the family and friends of the victims and with Citizen Movement activists and supporters," the former Mexico City mayor wrote on social media.

Outgoing President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador expressed his sorrow in a post on X and promised to provide any assistance required.

Footage posted on social media showed a strong wind gust hitting the stage as Alvarez Maynez and his aides scrambled to get out of harm's way as the structure tumbled down onto the stage and the ground in front where supporters were gathered.

The weather forecast for the area had warned of strong winds for Wednesday warning of 43 m.p.h. gusts.

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