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US-Mexico crossing partially reopens after roof collapse

Sep 15, 2011, 11:47 a.m.
Border police walk near the collapsed scaffolding supporting the roof at the San Ysidro port of entry, linking Tijuana, Mexico, with San Diego, California, in Tijuana September 14, 2011. REUTERS/Jorge Duenes

SAN DIEGO, Calif (Reuters) - The San Ysidro border crossing between Mexico and the United States partially reopened on Thursday, a day after a roof collapse dumped debris on cars, injured more than a dozen travelers and closed the port to northbound traffic.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency said that 13 of 24 vehicle lanes at the world's busiest border crossing -- linking Tijuana, Mexico with San Diego, California -- were reopened to traffic at midnight.

Scaffolding supporting the roof at the port collapsed across several traffic lanes on Wednesday morning, crushing cars, trapping drivers and injuring at least 17 travelers and construction workers.

The port, which every day handles some 50,000 vehicles and 25,000 people crossing north to San Diego on foot, has been undergoing a $600-million upgrade since February that aims to more than double its capacity.

CBP said in a statement that it did not expect to be "cleared to open" more vehicle lanes on Thursday. It reminded northbound travelers they could also cross through nearby Otay Mesa and Tecate crossings to the east.

Following safety checks, authorities reopened the border crossing to pedestrians heading north to California on Wednesday evening.

Southbound traffic through San Ysidro was unaffected by the collapse.

(Reporting by Tim Gaynor; Editing by Greg McCune)

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