According to Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim will cover all costs associated with rebuilding Mexico City’s subway overpass-stretch, which collapsed last month, killing 26 people.
During his daily press briefing on Wednesday, Lopez Obrador said he met with Slim, who assured him that his construction firm “will pay for everything” needed for the reconstruction of Mexico City’s Subway Line 12 overpass.
“He will take care of the reconstruction of the entire [subway line] stretch, making sure that it gets done with all the necessary safety [measures] at no cost to the [Mexican] people and without asking [the government] for a budget,” Lopez Obrador said.
Slim “will not wait for the judicial [final investigation findings],” according to Lopez Obrador, and will begin working with Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum “so that the line will be open and operational again in a year.”
When contacted by CNN, the Carlos Slim Foundation and Mexico City authorities both declined to comment on Lopez Obrador’s statement.
On May 3, dozens of people were killed when a section of Line 12 known as the “Golden Line” collapsed in Mexico City.
When it opened in October 2012, the subway line was hailed as one of the most expensive and ambitious public works projects in Mexican history.
The high-profile ribbon-cutting event was attended by the who’s who of Mexican politics and power at the time, including then-President Felipe Calderón and Marcelo Ebrard, who was then Mexico City’s mayor and is now the country’s foreign minister.
Carlos Slim, the owner of one of the involved construction firms, was also present.
Now, a separate investigation by the local attorney’s office and an independent investigation by the Norwegian firm DNV are looking into the causes of the deadly collapse, as well as those involved in the construction project, including Slim.
Missing metal studs in some sections of the structure, different types of concrete used for the slab, and unfinished or badly welded joints were among the other factors that caused the raised railway to buckle, sending two subway carriages plunging to the streets below, according to the report.