PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (HCNN) – At least 15 people have been killed in Haiti in an accident that occurred early on Tuesday when a huge float, carrying a Haitian popular rap group, hit a high tension power line in the Caribbean country’s capital Port-au-Prince, but the death toll could be higher.
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, confirmed two additional deaths, which brought the number of people killed to a total of 15, 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. It is not clear whether the last carnival day (later on Tuesday) will actually take place. Officials plan to provide more information within the next hours.