MEXICO

Mexicans intrigued by coffins hidden under a bridge

A total of 19 coffins were discovered under this bridge on September 7 in the Mexican city of Tlalnepantla de Baz. Photos posted on Facebook by Angel Porter.
A total of 19 coffins were discovered under this bridge on September 7 in the Mexican city of Tlalnepantla de Baz. Photos posted on Facebook by Angel Porter.

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A man discovered 19 coffins stuffed into a space under a bridge in a town in northern Mexico on September 7. Disturbed, he posted the photos he took on social media, where they were viewed more than 20 million times. A few hours later, city officials offered up an explanation for the strange discovery... but few people were convinced.

The bridge where the strange discovery was made is located in Tlalnepantla de Baz, in Mexico state. Angel Porter, a local resident, was walking nearby on September 7 when he noticed a hole in the bridge. When he had a closer look, he saw a  coffin inside the hole. He quickly took pictures of the strange scene and posted them online.

"Today, on Gustavo Baz Avenue, near Sanborns [Editor’s note: A Mexican restaurant and supermarket chain], the bridge opened up and look what was inside… what are these coffins doing here?”

"I immediately thought that there were dead people inside these coffins"

When I was passing by the bridge, I saw several people peek into the gap to see what was in there. So I went up and waited my turn to look. What I saw really disconcerted me. I immediately thought that there were dead people in the coffins, especially as there had been several recent reports of disappearances in the area. I took a few photos and then I left.

When I returned, I saw that police officers had set up a security cordon around the area. They had also covered up the hole with what looked like paper. It was no longer possible to get close especially as the police had dogs with them.

Police used paper to cover up the gap in the bridge.  

"Empty coffins” in a “storage facility,” according

to city officials

In fewer than 24 hours, the photos that Porter had posted had garnered more than 20 million views and people were asking questions about the suspicious discovery. A few hours later, city officials posted a message on Facebook.

This space was used as a storage facility for city services for several years. The 16 adult coffins and three child coffins were donated to the city by different funeral homes for the purpose of burying unidentified people or those without the means to pay for their own coffin. The coffins [...] are completely empty, so there is nothing strange about this storage facility.

"What proof do we have that these coffins

were really empty?"

However, Porter says very few people were convinced by the city’s statement.

The explanation given by the authorities is outlandish. In fact, I think their statement made the situation that much more suspicious and, along with the photos, contributed to why people think it’s all so strange. For example, nothing proves that these coffins were really empty. I didn’t see any of them opened.

Quite a few people posted similar questions on social media.

"Why isn’t there a video showing that they were empty?”"

"It’s curious: so, each time they need a coffin, they break down the wall to get one out? Wouldn’t it be easier to just put in a door?"

Other people were more pointed.

"A question: why aren’t they using them if there are people without means who die every day?"

The FRANCE 24 Observers team contacted the city of Tlalnepantla de Baz on September 8. City officials said that the room where the coffins were being kept was accessible by a door located about "three metres from the gap". A photo taken at the scene showed the door. Porter also said he saw a door.

City officials from Tlalnepantla de Baz sent this photo to the FRANCE 24 Observers team.

City officials also insisted that the coffins were empty.

“That evening, a few young people climbed under the bridge and opened up the coffins. They confirmed that there was nothing inside,” they told our journalist.

That said, city officials didn’t share a single photo proving that the coffins were completely empty.

There is, however, at least one video (a Facebook Live) where you can see two empty coffins inside the so-called storage facility (the empty coffins appear at 6.17 and 7.26). The other coffins remain closed.