16 Killed and 78 Injured in Haiti Carnival Accident, PM Declares National Day of Mourning

Written by Red Carpet Shelley. Posted in Caribbean, Caribbean News, Carnival

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Published on February 18, 2015 with No Comments

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Haiti Carnival Ends Prematurely

Haiti’s Prime minister, Evans Paul, announced on Tuesday the early ending of the Caribbean country’s carnival 3-day parade after an electric shock caused 16 people to lose their lives, while a 3-day national mourning has been declared to honor the memory of those killed in the tragedy that also left 78 people injured.

Paul invited the population to participate in a silent parade in the Champ de Mars area by 5 PM on Tuesday and urged participants to wear white to show respect for the victims.

“We cannot celebrate and dance over the bodies of those killed. We have to show respect and solidarity,” Paul told reporters during press briefing on Tuesday. “The carnival is over,” he said.

“We will organize a national funeral for the victims and we have declared a 3-day national mourning, starting tomorrow until their funeral on the twenty-first of Feb.,” Paul said.

The Haitian Prime minister announced that the funeral of the deadly victims and healthcare costs the injured will taken in charge by the government. Paul said the decision to end prematurely the carnival parade was jointly made by the government, participating musical groups and other relevant actors.

An HCNN reporter saw 13 bodies (11 males and 2 females) laid down on the floor outside the morgue of the general hospital in the capital, but a representative of the country’s civil protection office, Nadia Lochard, and government officials confirmed 3 additional deaths, which brought the number of people killed to a total of 16, so far.

Several dozen others injured, some very seriously, were being admitted at intensive care units in several hospitals in the metropolitan area of Port-au-Prince.

“It is a real tragedy! We have done all we could to try to revive and save a number of them, but unfortunately it was not possible,” Dr. Max Saint-Albin told HCNN on Tuesday, as he stepped out of a special health facility set up by Haiti’s First Lady on the main carnival site.

Most of them were reportedly killed by electrocution, while others died as a result of the general panic that caused other accidents.

The death toll could be higher given that several of the health centers that had received patients in critical conditions had not yet provided a final report on the situation of the injured.

The float of the Barikad Crew rap group caught fire as it moved past an electric pole with a high tension cable on Rue Capois, in the Champ de Mars area.

One of the star rappers of the group, known as Phantom, who had first received the electric charges on top of the float, was feared dead. However, Dr. Saint-albin confirmed he was alive, but still in critical conditions.

Hundreds of thousands of Haitians were participating in an annual 3-day carnival parade that kicked off on Sunday.

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