Tragedy struck the 2015 Haiti Carnival after an accident involving a power line left at least 20 people dead. According to an eyewitness account, a person atop the float moved a power line out of its way for passage thus leading to some of the deaths by way of electrocution.
Earlier reports from the Haitian-Caribbean News Network reported around 15 dead at the onset. As reported by the Associated Press, the death toll rose to at least 20 and around 46 people were injured. The accident took place around 2:48 a.m. local time Tuesday (Feb. 17) according to Haitian Communications Minister Rothschild Francis Junior. Authorities have been quiet on the details of the accident, but local news outlets on the ground have depicted a grim scene in the aftermath.
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“It is a real tragedy! We have done all we could to try to revive and save a number of them, but unfortunately it was not possible,” Dr. Max Saint-Albin told HCNN on Tuesday, as he stepped out of a special health facility set up by Haiti’s First Lady on the main carnival site.
Most of them were reportedly killed by electrocution, while others died as a result of the general panic that caused other accidents.
The death toll could be higher given that several of the health centers that had received patients in critical conditions had not yet provided a final report on the situation of the injured.
The float of the Barikad Crew rap group caught fire as it moved past an electric pole with a high tension cable on Rue Capois, in the Champ de Mars area.
The Haiti Carnival kicked off this past Sunday and typically runs for three days. There’s no word yet if officials will allow the carnival to go as planned for its last day in the wake of the incident. Haitian President Michel J. Martelly offered words of condolences via Twitter earlier today. The Haiti Carnival accident took place just as revelers were celebrating Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday.
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