Mon | Dec 5, 2016

20 killed in Haiti carnival parade

Published:Tuesday | February 17, 2015 | 1:59 PM

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP):

At least 20 people were killed early this morning in the Haitian capital after a man on top of a musical group's Carnival float was electrocuted, setting off a panic in which dozens of people were trampled, witnesses and officials said.

The accident occurred as thousands of people filled the streets of downtown Port-au-Prince for the raucous annual celebration.

Video from the scene shows sparks coursing from the wire after a singer from the Haitian hip-hop group Barikad Crew was touched by an overhead power line as the float passed beneath it.

The wire appeared to have electrocuted several others as well.

There were conflicting reports on the number of casualties. Nadia Lochard, a coordinator for the Department of Civil Protection, said at least 20 people were killed and 46 were injured. Radio station Zenith-FM quoted a doctor as saying that the singer, known by the stage name Fantom, was expected to survive.

Dr. Joel Desire, a doctor at General Hospital, said most of those killed appeared to have been trampled to death as the crowd surged away from the Carnival float.

The Barikad Crew float was one of 16 in the downtown Carnival parade. Witnesses said panic ensued when people jumped off the float to avoid being electrocuted.