Storm collapses roof over famed Aztec temple in Mexico

·1-min read

A roof over Mexico City's Templo Mayor has partially collapsed in a hailstorm, causing minor damage to the capital's most important Aztec temple, officials said Thursday.

The metal and acrylic roof over part of the site came crashing down on Wednesday night, just a day after the city's archaeological zone reopened from pandemic closures.

"Despite the spectacular nature of the accident, the damage to the archaeological heritage is not great," said Leonardo Lopez Lujan, director of the Templo Mayor Project.

The culture ministry said that in addition to the roof structure, the perimeter fence was damaged.

"The impact on pre-Hispanic structures is minor, recoverable and restorable and specialists will take care of this," the ministry said in a statement.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador told reporters that experts were assessing the damage and a new roof was expected to be installed over the ruins.

A security guard suffered minor injuries in the collapse, authorities said.

Built and rebuilt throughout the 14th and 15th centuries, Templo Mayor was the sacred heart of the Aztec capital and believed to be the site of many human sacrifices.

The vast religious building was destroyed when the Spanish conquistadors razed Tenochtitlan in 1521 and built a colonial city on top of it.

Archaeologists first uncovered the temple ruins in 1914, but they were not excavated in earnest until the 1970s.

The historic center of Mexico City was named a UNESCO heritage site in 1987.

jg-nc-dr/to