Port-au-Prince, Feb 18 (IANS) More than 10 people were killed early Tuesday at a carnival here after their float made deadly contact with a power line.
Some 40 others were injured in the tragedy, which occurred at around 2:48 a.m. on the second day of the annual event, according to a statement from Haitian Communications Minister Rotchild Francois.
The exact number of casualties is yet to be known. Some earlier reports put it at at least 18 dead and some 60 injured, according to Xinhua.
Witnesses were quoted as saying that someone on the float used a stick to move the high-voltage overhead power line so that the float could pass under it.
Some of the victims were instantly electrocuted, while others were killed and wounded in the following panic, as thousands of Haitians filled the streets for the celebration.
The float was sponsored by a local music group, whose star singer, known as “Fantom”, was struck directly and is in critical condition, according to the Haiti Press Network website.
Haitian President Michel Martelly has expressed sympathies with the victims via social network Twitter.
“The government sends its condolences to the families of the victims and stands ready to assist everyone affected by this tragedy,” Francois quoted him as saying in the statement.