Derailed streetcar leaves five dead in Rio de Janeiro

August 29th, 2011 - 1:59 pm ICT by IANS  

Rio de Janeiro, Aug 29 (IANS/EFE) At least five people died and close to 30 were injured when a streetcar went off the rails in Rio de Janeiro’s tourist neighbourhood of Santa Teresa, firefighters said.

The accident occurred as the streetcar descended one of the neighborhood’s steep streets, and for reasons not yet determined, it went off the track, flipped over and was completely destroyed.

Firefighters who rushed to help the victims said that four people died at the scene of the accident and another died after being admitted to Souza Aguiar Hospital, where all the injured were taken.

Rio’s Health Secretariat confirmed that the accident left five people dead and about 30 injured, but has not established whether any of the victims were foreigners.

The streetcar left downtown Rio de Janeiro and went over the Lapa Arches, the old Roman-style aqueduct that provided the city’s water supply in colonial times, to arrive at its destination.

Santa Teresa, a bohemian Rio neighborhood, is a favorite of Brazilian and foreign tourists for its gastronomic and cultural attractions, its nightlife and the spectacular views of Guanabara Bay from high up its steep streets.

Last June, a French tourist died when he fell off a streetcar going across the Lapa Arches.

–IANS/EFE
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