15 people dead in accident during pre-carnival celebrations in southern Brazil

March 1st, 2011 - 12:47 am ICT by BNO News  

MINAS GERAIS, BRAZIL (BNO NEWS) — Fifteen people on Sunday were killed and about 50 more injured in an accident during pre-carnival celebrations in southern Brazil, the Journal do Brasil newspaper reported on Monday.

The accident took place during Sunday afternoon in Bandeira do Sul town, in the southern Minas Gerais state. A high voltage power cable broke and fell into ac row of people celebrating in the eve of the Rio de Janeiro carnival.

The 15 people died electrocuted while around 50 more sustained severe burns and were treated at hospitals in Bandeira do Sul, Poços de Caldas, Botelhos e Campestre. Two of the victims were celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary.

The power cable broke after it was hit by fireworks during the celebrations. The death toll was confirmed by the Instituto Médico Legal (IML) adding that among the 15 victims were a 10-year-old boy and two teenagers aged 13 and 16.

After the accident, approximately 6,000 Bandeira do Sul residents were left without electricity as well as phone lines. The town is located approximately 440 kilometers from the state’s capital Belo Horizonte.

The celebrations were taking place in the main square of the Brazilian town. The local fire department informed that the discharge was of about 7000 volts. Celebrations began on Friday and two bands were scheduled to perform on Sunday before the accident.

Authorities estimated that over half a million people took part in the “street” carnival, a celebration that occurs before the Brazilian Carnival, an annual festival that paralyzes the South American country for about a week of festivities, parades and “trio elétricos” floats.

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