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Presidential campaign rally in Mexico turns deadly after strong gust of wind topples stage

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May 23, 2024

At least nine people were killed and dozens more were injured at a campaign rally in northern Mexico on Wednesday evening after a strong gust of wind toppled the stage.

The rally was being held for long-shot presidential candidate Jorge Álvarez Máynez in the Mexican state of Nuevo Leon, according to The Associated Press. Máynez went to the hospital after the incident, but later announced that he was in good condition.

He also said he has suspended upcoming campaign events, adding that the victims “will not be alone in this tragedy.”

“The only important thing at this point is to care for the victims of the accident,” he said.

MAYORAL CANDIDATE, 5 OTHERS KILLED BY GUNFIRE AT CAMPAIGN RALLY IN SOUTHERN MEXICO

Nuevo Leon Gov. Samuel García, who is a leading member of Máynez’s Citizens Movement party, said at least nine people, including a child, were killed and 63 were injured. 

He also posted a video message asking residents in the area to shelter in their homes for the next two hours because of the weather.

Videos from the rally showed Máynez waving his arm and the crowd chanting his name when he noticed a giant screen and metal structure falling in his direction, the AP reported. He was able to run toward the back of the stage to escape the toppling structure.

Other campaign attendees, many of whom were screaming, could be seen running away while some climbed out from under collapsed metal poles, according to The AP.

ANOTHER MEXICAN POLITICIAN MURDERED IN LEADUP TO JUNE NATIONAL ELECTIONS

Máynez, who is polling third in the country’s presidential race, has been trailing Claudia Sheinbaum and Xóchitl Gálvez – both of whom sent their condolences not long after the tragic event took place.

Sheinbaum, who is leading the pack, said she has canceled a Thursday campaign event in the nearby city of Monterrey “in solidarity” with the victims and their families.

Gálvez wrote on social media, “My condolences and prayers with the families of the dead, and my wishes for a speedy recovery to all those injured.”

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador also shared sympathies, saying he “sends a hug to family members, friends of the victims and political supporters.” 

Mexico is at the height of its campaign season as presidential, state and municipal elections will be held on June 2. 

In addition to Wednesday night’s deadly weather event, the campaign season has also been plagued by the killings of about two dozen candidates for local offices.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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