Freak carnival accident

At least 16 Brazilian Carnival
revellers were killed and dozens more wounded when a power cable fell and
electrocuted them as they danced behind a sound truck.

The high-voltage line fell during pre-carnival
street parade celebrations in the town of Bandeira do Sul in the southwestern
state of Minas Gerais, the state’s fire fighting service said.

The exact cause of the accident is
not yet clear, with some accounts suggesting a firework set off by someone in
the crowd tore the cable off and others suggesting the music truck pulled it

Such trucks, known as “Trio
Eletricos” (Electric Trios) and equipped with high-power sound systems,
are commonly used to lead Carnival parties through the streets in Brazil.

Officials said more than  50 other people were injured in the incident.

“The cable fell on top of the
truck, which then became a conductor of the electric energy and many people
were electrocuted.

Those who tried to get others out
of the current also died,” local police chief Ademir Luiz Correa said.

This year’s Carnival celebrations,
which officially get under way on Friday, had already been hit by tragedy.

A large fire three weeks ago
destroyed thousands of costumes and threw the preparations of some of Rio de
Janeiro’s top samba groups into chaos.