MEXICO CITY – The two occupants of a taxi were rescued early Tuesday after a bridge in western Mexico collapsed, authorities said.
The accident cut off the only access route to the Pacific coast resort town of Puerto Vallarta, located in Jalisco state, from the neighboring state of Nayarit.
Several eyewitnesses to the collapse told authorities of the presence of the taxi on the bridge, emergency services personnel in Jalisco told Efe.
The structure partially collapsed about 3 a.m. due to the erosion of its support pillars by the rise of the rain-swollen Ameca River.
The eyewitnesses also reported the presence of another vehicle on the span at the moment of the collapse and authorities are currently trying to either find it or rule out its presence by combing the area with helicopters.
The two people in the taxi were hospitalized, the sources added.
About 100 meters (328 feet) of the lane leading to Puerto Vallarta came down into the river, but the bridge has been completely closed, since authorities do not know if the rest of the structure will be able to resist the force of the surging water.
Thus, those who want to travel to Puerto Vallarta from Nayarit will have to detour through relatively nearby Costa Alegre, but that route – sources say – will take eight hours to traverse.
The bridge was the access route used “by all tourists” who visit the area, one local official said. EFE