Cantina manager held following deadly structural collapse in Progreso

State launches investigation as dead and injured are identified

Police mark off a corner in Progreso's tourist zone following a deadly bar collapse Sunday afternoon. Photo: Punto Medio
Police mark off a corner in Progreso’s tourist zone following a deadly bar collapse Sunday afternoon. Photo: Punto Medio

Progreso, Yucatan — The manager of a bar is being held by authorities after a corner cantina’s walls collapsed, raining concrete onto the sidewalk below, killing three.

Cantina Mocambo had been renovated last year, and part of the new construction is apparently what faltered around 3 p.m. Sunday when its facade and cornice fell onto passersby. Part of the ceiling also fell on diners inside.

The state prosecutor’s office is investigating and Progreso Mayor Julián Zacarías assured the public that there will be “timely follow-up” to the accident. The 24-year-old manager of the establishment, Gerardo Alberto Limón Zambal, of Fracc. Los Almendros in Ciudad Caucel, was held and questioned by authorities.

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A 6-year-old child, identified only as Scarlett, and a 32-year-old woman, Kimberly Salazar Juárez, died. Both lived in Merida. A man, possibly a passing street merchant, in his 20s, was also crushed to death.

Among the hospitalized are Julieta María López Sulú, 26, for head trauma. Gloria Acopa Sulú, 24, and her 2-year-old son were taken to the IMSS Juarez Hospital in Merida.

César Iván Romero, 24, and Cindy Braga Cortés, 26, were taken to the public hospital in Progreso.

Seeking refuge from the afternoon sun, several people were standing under a cornice that overhangs the narrow pavement when the accident occurred.

None of the bar’s customers were injured.

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One newspaper reported employees noticing cracks in the wall before the tragedy.

The Mocambo had changed hands last year after the death of the owner. The new proprietor, a Merida businessman, had renovated the 1970s-era structure in 2018. The bar dates to 1933.

Reconstruction and modernization occurred throughout the sports-themed hangout, which sits within view of the malecon. But the structural fault appears to have been with the new roof-top palapa bar, where the concrete and cinder-block wall gave way.

No communication has been offered from the Mocambo. Its Facebook page was taken down sometime overnight.

Sources: Progreso Hoy, Punto Medio, Yucatan Ahora

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