Mexico’s Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education has confirmed that structural failings contributed to a bridge collapse that killed five students during a 7.1 magnitude earthquake earlier this year.
Rashid Abella Yunes, the school’s vice-president for the Mexico City region, said investigations had found that two sets of pedestrian walkways stretching between three buildings on the campus in the Mexican capital were too weak to withstand the earthquake, which hit on 19 September.
“The supports that were supporting the bridges were just 15 centimetres, which to the judgement of experts could have been larger,” he told Reuters. “The buildings made the bridges lose support, and they fell.”
The university is said to have passed on the case to Mexico City prosecutors, who will determine whether any of the architects, contractors or building inspectors hired in the creation of the bridges between 1991 and 1998 should be held responsible for the shortcomings.
Students were filmed running for their lives following the collapse, which left a further 40 injured alongside those killed at the campus.
A group of nearly 100 alumni and parents were among those pressuring the college to explain how the bridges were constructed following the disaster, it was reported.