MEXICO CITY – A man and his father trapped on Wednesday when their vehicle fell into a sinkhole that opened on a highway connecting the Mexican capital with the Pacific resort city of Acapulco have died, Mexico’s transportation secretary said.
“The Jetta vehicle was recovered from the sinkhole on the Cuernavaca Express Bypass. Regrettably, the two occupants died,” Gerardo Ruiz Esparza said on Twitter.
Juan Mena Romero, 33, and Juan Mena Ruiz, 65, were trapped before dawn when their vehicle plunged into the hole on a stretch of the Mexico City-Acapulco highway that runs through Cuernavaca, capital of the central state of Morelos.
The sinkhole is 5 meters (16.3 ft.) deep and has a diameter of 7 meters (23 ft.), the federal Communications and Transportation Secretariat said in a statement.
The subsoil under the highway was weakened due to persistent heavy rains and an accumulation of garbage blocking a drainage channel “which has functioned very well over the course of 40 years,” Ruiz Esparza said.
The sewer and drainage infrastructure lies more than 15 meters beneath the surface of the newly built road, according to the secretariat.
But Ruiz Esparza said that the company responsible for construction of the highway would be held to account if officials determined the sinkhole was the result of negligence.
The Cuernavaca Express Bypass was inaugurated April 5 by President Enrique Peña Nieto.