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Video Shows Singer's Electrocution and Chaotic Aftermath at Haiti's Carnival

At least 20 people were killed and many more injured after a slow-moving float clipped low-hanging power lines during the Carnival celebration in Port-au-Prince.

by Liz Fields
Feb 17 2015, 6:30pm

Photo by Dieu Nalio Chery/AP

At least 20 people were reported killed and many more injured after a slow-moving float clipped low-hanging power lines on the second day of Haiti's Carnival celebrations in Port-au-Prince.

Video of the incident appears to show the lead singer of the Haitian hip-hop group Barikad Crew touch wires overhead as a float carrying his group and others passed below early Tuesday morning. A flash of bright light is followed by screams and then a rush of panicked people trying to escape the chaos.

The singer, known by his stage name Fantom, was electrocuted but is expected to survive, a doctor at Port-au-Prince's General Hospital, where many of the patients were taken, told radio station Zenith-FM. Most of the others killed were reportedly trampled to death, he said.

VICE News could not immediately verify casualty numbers, but a Department of Civil Protection spokeswoman told the Associated Press that at least 20 were dead and as many as 46 injured.

Further footage of the incident shows ambulances streaming into the area and medics carrying lifeless bodies and injured people through the crowd to the hospital.

One photo posted to Facebook shows a severely burned victim in the hospital taking a selfie of his scorched skin.

Haitian President Michel Martelly tweeted a note of sympathy for the victims and their families. His wife visited some of the injured in the hospital on Tuesday.

"My heartfelt sympathy goes out to the victims of the serious incident that occurred this morning on the Champ de Mars on the 2nd day of Carnival," Martelly wrote.

The hashtag #PriyePouFantom, which translates roughly to "Pray for Fantom," spread on Twitter in the wake of the incident.

The annual parade is held at the same time as other Mardi Gras events in cities across the globe and attracts large crowds of revelers. Authorities are expected to announce Tuesday whether the third day of the celebrations will be cancelled.