A child was among nine people killed when a stage collapsed at a Mexican presidential election rally

Reuters Jorge Alvarez Maynez speaks to people at the scene of the stage collapseReuters

Presidential candidate Jorge Alvarez Maynez was organizing a rally at the time

At least nine people were killed, including a child, and about 50 were injured after part of a stage collapsed at an election rally in the northern Mexican state of Nuevo León, the local governor said.

The incident occurred while center-left presidential candidate Jorge Alvarez Maynez was giving a speech in the city of San Pedro Garza Garcia, near Monterrey.

Mr Maynez was not injured in the collapse and was seen speaking to supporters after the incident. He said several members of his team were injured.

The collapse was due to sudden strong winds, Mr. Maynez said in a post on X.

Footage appears to clearly show the moment the lighting structure collapsed while several people were on stage.

Video posted on social media showed Mr. Maynez waving to his supporters and then running backstage for safety when he realized part of the structure was toppling.

People could also be heard screaming and running off the stage.

“First I saw the drums of the musicians in the group about to play being blown away,” Mr. Maynez said.

“When the others noticed, they ran away in different directions, some jumped to the sides and I jumped back,” he added.

Mr. Maynez said the wind suddenly came without warning and described it as an “atypical” phenomenon. [weather] event”.

He told reporters at the scene: “What we experienced happened in just a few seconds: A strong wind came, a sudden gust of wind and unfortunately it collapsed the stage, leading to a fatal accident”.

Getty Images Three uniformed officers patrol the fence at the sitebeautiful images

The collapsed structure can be seen on the left of this picture

State Governor Samuel Garcia said the victims included eight adults and one child.

Three of the injured had surgery after arriving at a local hospital, he added.

Posting on social media, Mr. Garcia urged locals to stay indoors because of thunderstorms and strong winds in the area.

“If possible, avoid going out because there are storms and unusual winds. I will notify you,” he wrote on X.

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said he sent “hugs to family members, friends of the victims and political supporters”.

EPA A woman sits in a chair next to a group of ambulancesEPA

Emergency services took the injured to multiple nearby hospitals

Mr. Maynez, 38, is the candidate of the Civic Movement party and is currently in third place in national polls behind Claudia Sheinbaum of the ruling Morena Party and Xóchitl Gálvez, from the opposition coalition.

Mr. Garcia was the original candidate for the Citizens’ Movement Party, but nominated Mr. Maynez as his campaign coordinator after a dispute over who would serve as governor while he campaigned. . Mexican law requires officials to resign if they run for office.

As a result, Mr. Maynez entered the presidential race in January — a relatively late start compared to the September entries of Ms. Sheinbaum and Ms. Gálvez.

His previous role as campaign coordinator meant he was relatively unknown to the two front-runners.

Mr. Maynez announced he would suspend upcoming campaign events and Ms. Sheinbaum said she had canceled an appearance in nearby Monterrey on Thursday.

Ms. Gálvez wrote on social networks: “I offer my condolences and prayers to the families of those who died and that all the injured will recover quickly.”

The upcoming election, scheduled for June 2, is one of the most dangerous in Mexican history.

A recent survey by Mexican political consulting firm Integralia said about 200 public officials, politicians and candidates were murdered or threatened before the election. No incidents were reported at campaign events.

This breaking news story is being updated and more details will be released soon. Please refresh the page for the most complete version.

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