It is speculated that 16 to 20 people were killed because of an electrical shock on a float at Haiti’s national Carnival parade on Tuesday, Feb.16 in the Haitian Capital.
According to the NY Daily News, there was a man on top of the musical Carnival float that got electrocuted, which sent dozens of people into panic.
There were thousands of people that cluttered the streets for this celebration held over many weeks leading up to Mardi Gras. This annual carnival celebration, which started back in 1804, occurs the same time as other Mardi Gras celebrations around the world. It is always held in Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince.
These celebrations actually used to be considered “sinful” to Protestant Haitians because it allows “sexually-suggestive dancing, profanity-filled plays, music lyrics mocking authority, Vodou and kompa music rhythms,” according to Wikipedia.
The man on the float was the lead singer of a Haitian hip-hop group called Barikad Crew, who goes by the name of Fantom. He was touched by an overhead power line as the float passed. Doctors say he is expected to live.
According to NY Daily News, “Nadia Lochard, a coordinator for the Department of Civil Protection, said at least 20 people were killed and 46 were injured.”
Apparently, most of the people who died were killed by being trampled to death as the crowd cascaded away from the float, according to Dr. Desire, from General Hospital. The panic occurred after people jumped off the float to avoid being electrocuted.
Check out this video of the incident from CNN.