Barikad Crew accident on final day of parade

On February 17, 2015, a celebration in Port-au-Prince became a source of great sorrow when a crowded float came into the contact of live high voltage power line--17 people died and 78 were injured. The accident occurred during the second day of an annual carnival festival when a musical float was passing below an overhead power line. Someone from the float used a pole to move a live power line out of the way so that the float could pass under it. A recording from the 'Amateur Video' posted on YouTube shows that the cable touched the head of a singer (Darinus) from the hip-hop band 'Barikad Crew' as it was passing near the presidential stand packed with spectators. Seven people on the float were electrocuted, and others died in the ensuing panic.


Following the incident, the final day of the parade was cancelled; Prime Minister Evans Paul declared three days of mourning and later on that day, President Michel Martelly joined hundreds of people who gathered at the accident site. A state funeral was organized after the mourning on Saturday 21st. President Michel Martelly had expressed his "sincerest sympathies'' to the victims in a Twitter message. Sophia Martelly, the First lady visited the hospitals that were treating the injured.

It is a common practice in Haiti and elsewhere, during similar carnivals people standing atop a parade float move low hanging power lines with poles. In a similar incident on the same day, three people were killed on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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