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On February 17, 2015, starting at around 2:48 AM,[1] a stampede occurred during the traditional Mardi Gras parade on Champ de Mars in the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince. Initial reports stated that at least 16 people had died in the accident.[2] The number was revised to 18 dead (15 men and 3 women) according to the Haitian Minister of Communications, Rotchild François Junior.[3] Nadia Lochard, of the Department of Civil Protection, stated that 20 people were killed in the accident.[4] In addition, 78 people were injured, according to Haiti Prime Minister Evans Paul.[4]

2015 Haiti Carnival stampede
DateFebruary 17, 2015 (2015-02-17)
Time2:48 AM
LocationChamp de Mars, Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Deaths18 (15 men + 3 women)
Non-fatal injuries78
External video
Video hosted on YouTube

The stampede occurred after a man participating on top of a Carnival float during the Mardi Gras was shocked by high-voltage wires. Video footage of the incident shows visible sparks that triggered the stampede.[5] The man, known by his stage name Fantom, and part of the Haitian hip hop band Barikad Crew, survived the shock[4] and was in stable condition.[6]

ReactionsEdit

Prime Minister Paul declared three days of official mourning for Haiti in response to the accident, and government officials announced a state funeral and vigil for the victims, which was held on February 21, 2015.[4] Paul also said that a silent parade would be held along the Champ de Mars, where the accident occurred.[7] Michel Martelly, the President of Haiti, expressed his "sincerest sympathies" for the victims.[8] After the accident, Minister of Communications François Junior said that the government will organize a plan to modernize the state electricity company, Electricité d’Haïti.[3]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Associated Press (17 February 2015). "Haiti cancels last day of Carnival after at least 16 die in power line tragedy". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
  2. ^ Associated Press (17 February 2015). "Float Accident at Haiti Carnival Parade Kills at Least 16". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
  3. ^ a b Baron, Amelie (18 February 2015). "Haiti to implement safety measures after Carnival tragedy". Reuters. Retrieved 18 February 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d Associated Press (17 February 2015). "Float Accident at Haiti Carnival Parade Kills at Least 16". ABC News. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
  5. ^ ABC News. "Burned Singer Describes Deadly Haiti Carnival Accident". ABC News.
  6. ^ Bacon, John (17 February 2015). "At least 16 die in Haiti Carnival accident". USA Today. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
  7. ^ "Three days of mourning for Haiti carnival float victims". BBC. 17 February 2015. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
  8. ^ Baron, Amelie (17 February 2015). "Haiti cancels last day of Carnival after 16 die in float accident". Reuters. Retrieved 17 February 2015.