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15 electrocuted in Haiti Carnival

17 February 2015, 16:49

Port-au-Prince - At least 15 people were dead after being electrocuted by a high-voltage cable as they were riding a Carnival parade float in Haiti Tuesday, emergency officials said.

Dozens were also injured in the overnight accident in Port-au-Prince, Communications Minister Rotchild Francois said in a statement.

The float was carrying a popular Haitian rap group called Barikad Crew, Haiti's Radio Metropole reported.

It struck a cable as it passed underneath it in a parade watched by tens of thousands of people.

The rap group's star singer, who goes by the name "Fantom", was struck directly by the fallen cable and is in critical condition, the website Haiti Press Network said.

The government said the accident occurred near the city center on the Champ de Mars at around 2:48 am (0748 GMT) on the second day of the Carnival.

Doctor Claude Surena, the official in charge of emergency operations for Haiti's Carnival celebrations, suggested the toll could rise.

"So far, we've counted 15 dead. Our teams are continuing to collect information at our health centers" regarding the casualties, he said.

The minister said the government sent its condolences to the families of the victims and "stands ready to assist everyone affected by this tragedy".

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