Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim’s building arm Grupo Carso faces scrutiny from accident investigators for the doable function it performed within the constructing of a metro railway line that collapsed this month, killing 26 folks.

Whereas no officers have blamed Carso or any of the opposite corporations concerned within the building of the road for the accident, the Mexico Metropolis legal professional normal’s workplace mentioned the probe it’s main would embody every thing from design and building of the metro’s Line 12, the supplies used, and price overruns.

Inquiries will attain “wherever the investigation led” a spokesman for the legal professional normal’s workplace instructed Reuters, when requested if that included the builders.

The pinnacle of Mexico Metropolis’s public works division, Jesus Esteva, recognized Carso because the contractor in control of the part the place the accident occurred.

“The data we’ve got is that it’s Carso,” Esteva instructed Mexican radio station Grupo Formulation earlier this month. “That is the knowledge supplied to us by the Metro.”

Mexico Metropolis’s public works division declined a Reuters request for remark or an interview with Esteva, however mentioned his feedback to Grupo Formulation have been appropriate.

Town’s investigators mentioned they are going to be accompanied by Norwegian exterior auditor DNV in figuring out what occurred on Line 12, constructed by a consortium of Mexico’s ICA, Slim’s Grupo Carso and French trainmaker Alstom.

Carso declined to touch upon whether or not it had erected the part that collapsed. It additionally declined to touch upon the potential penalties of the investigation and has not publicly mentioned which elements of the rail line it constructed.

A spokesman for Slim, Latin America’s wealthiest man, declined to touch upon questions on Carso’s work on Line 12.

A Metro official shared with Reuters a screenshot of an undated Metro doc titled “normal traits of the road” that confirmed Carso constructed the part. The official declined to remark additional.

ICA additionally shared one other doc with Reuters with a graphic exhibiting it had constructed sections of Line 12 spanning 15 stations, and Carso 5. Carso’s part included the place the monitor fell by the Olivos station, in keeping with the undated doc.

Responding to questions from Reuters, Alstom mentioned the consortium was “led by ICA” and that its function was “restricted to energy provide, signaling, monitoring and management methods and a few depot gear, in addition to testing and commissioning of some electromechanical and track-work-sub-systems.”

Alstom didn’t handle what Carso’s function had been.

Reuters couldn’t set up how far the preliminary investigation into what prompted the bridge to break down has proceeded however Mexico Metropolis Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum instructed reporters final week it could be accomplished in 5 weeks.

“I am certain we’ll quickly have the decision on what went unsuitable, if the builder did a foul job…if it was as a result of lack of upkeep, if it was subsidence that prompted the part, the metal girder, to fracture,” President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador instructed a information convention final Wednesday.

Equities analyst and advisor Carlos Hermosillo mentioned the potential fallout from the investigation, resembling doable fines for the builders of the road, could be unlikely to have a significant impression on Carso given its measurement.

However he mentioned there was a possible threat Carso and the opposite corporations within the consortium may very well be saved out of future public tasks if the probe discovered they carried blame for the accident, Mexico’s greatest practice crash in years.

Carso (GCARSOA1.MX) shares have moved little for the reason that incident.

Carso mentioned in a press release the day after the incident it stood in solidarity with the crash victims, and would await skilled opinion on the accident.

Line 12 had repeatedly been reviewed and declared secure by officers because it opened in 2012, however issues led to partial shutdowns from 2014 to 2015 for repairs. Audits from the town comptroller’s workplace resulted in sanctions for 38 officers over a spread of irregularities together with supply of unfinished works.

In a single report commissioned by the town, engineering consultancy Systra discovered planning, design, building, operational and upkeep failures, and positioned accountability on the development corporations in addition to the Metro.

The consortium of ICA, Carso and Alstom, in a press release shared with media in 2014, denied wrongdoing, saying the completed line met specs set by the town authorities for the mission.

Any corporations discovered liable for the collapse are prone to be requested to offer compensation to folks injured within the accident, and to the households of those that died, mentioned Sergio Alcocer, an engineering skilled on the Nationwide Autonomous College of Mexico. An official from the federal judiciary council confirmed to Reuters that the investigation might result in financial damages paid to victims and kin.

The media have additionally requested former Mexico Metropolis mayor Marcelo Ebrard, the present overseas minister who oversaw the opening of Line 12 in 2012, and present mayor Sheinbaum, about what accountability they may bear after the accident. Ebrard was in workplace through the mission’s building and inauguration, whereas Sheinbaum’s administration has carried out the newest inspections and upkeep on the road.

Each have urged the general public to await the end result of the investigation. Each are allies of Lopez Obrador and seen as potential presidential candidates in 2024. read more

Our Requirements: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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