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Published On: Wed, Feb 18th, 2015

16 or more dead in Carnival accident after singer hits power line

At least 16 people were killed during Haiti’s national Carnival parade in an accident involving an electrical shock on a float, followed by a stampeded of patrons, government officials said.

An “accident following an electrical shock” happened on a parade float in Port-au-Prince Tuesday, Haitian Communications Minister Rothschild Francis Junior said.

Global Dispatch 200x119The government spokesman did not elaborate on the accident. Seventy-eight other people were injured, the office of Haiti’s Prime Minister said.

Video from the scene appeared to show a power line striking a man atop a float. Chaos erupted and revelers ran in all directions, trampling others at the parade.

Prime Minister Evans Paul said 16 people were confirmed dead and 78 were injured. His statement conflicted with earlier reports on the number of casualties. Nadia Lochard, a coordinator for the Department of Civil Protection, had said at least 20 people were killed.

Paul declared three days of mourning for the impoverished Caribbean country, and he and President Michel Martelly joined hundreds of people who gathered at the accident site later in the day. Haitian officials canceled Tuesday’s third and final day of Carnival events and announced a state funeral and vigil on Saturday for the victims.

The singer who was hit by the power cable, a man known by the stage name Fantom, was expected to survive, according to a doctor who spoke to radio station Zenith-FM.

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About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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