At least 16 dead in Carnival parade accident in Haiti

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(CNN) — At least 16 people were killed during Haiti’s national Carnival parade in an accident involving an electrical shock on a float, government officials said.

An “accident following an electrical shock” happened on a parade float in Port-au-Prince at 2:48 a.m. ET Tuesday, Haitian Communications Minister Rothschild Francis Junior said.

The government spokesman did not elaborate on the accident. Seventy-eight other people were injured, the office of Haiti’s Prime Minister said.

Video from the scene appeared to show a power line striking a man atop a float. Chaos erupted and revelers ran in all directions.

“My sincerest sympathies (are) with the victims of the grave incident this morning at the Champ de Mars celebrating Mardi Gras Carnaval,” Haitian President Michel Martelly said on Twitter.

The accident happened just hours into Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, the culmination of pre-Lenten Carnival celebrations.

Officials canceled Carnival activities and declared three days of national mourning.