New suspension pedestrian bridge collapses as mayor inaugurates it, sending dozens into a ravine

The mayor of the Mexican city of Cuernavaca was proudly inaugurating a footbridge over a scenic stream Tuesday when the bridge collapsed, sending him and about two dozen other people plunging into a gully.

The hanging bridge made of wooden boards and metal chains had recently been remodeled. Video of the collapse suggested the boards separated from the chains supporting them.

Local officials, including city council members, fell about 10 feet (3 meters) onto rocks and boulders in the streambed.

Cuauhtémoc Blanco, the governor of Morelos state, where Cuernavaca is located, said the wife of Mayor José Luis Urióstegui and reporters were among those on the bridge when it fell.

The head of the state civil defense office, Enrique Clemente, told the Milenio television station that about eight people were injured, many with broken bones. The mayor was not listed as among those seriously hurt.

The crush of officials and journalists on the bridge during the inauguration may have exceeded its planned capacity.

Cuernavaca, located just south of Mexico City, has long been a weekend getaway for capital residents due to its abundance of water and balmy climate.

The footbridge was part of a river walk along one of the city’s many streams. Cuernavaca has undergone explosive growth and has largely ignored or polluted many of its waterways. The river walk was intended to be part of a revival of the city’s natural attractions.

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