Written by Staff Writer
At least 40 people were injured in Brazil on Tuesday during a parade celebrating the country’s New Year.
The parade at the main square in the city of Salvador was conducted despite being banned by the Civil Defense department, officials said. And pedestrian pedestrian walkways collapsed, sending dozens of people into the river.
Of the 40 injured, 15 were in serious condition, Civil Defense (CNT) said. It said it could not confirm the death toll, but the BBC has reported that one person drowned.
Seven were being treated at hospital, while the other 32 injured were being taken to local medical centers.
“Vigigas”, a large street festival that draws residents and tourists alike, usually takes place at the start of the lunar New Year, the official start of 2019.
The CNT called the incident an emergency situation and urged the public to stay out of the area.
“The CNT strongly condemns the illegal use of pedestrian pedestrian paths by sightseers to avoid long traffic queues,” it said in a statement, urging authorities to investigate and take action.
Colleagues of journalist Antonio Moreno Dilhos said via Twitter that he was involved in the incident.
“All my phones are broken. This is my voice — and that of many of my colleagues. I am out of danger thanks to the rescue crews,” Moreno Dilhos said.
Samba school director Alexis Rivero said that due to the absence of pedestrian footpaths, many people “went out of control and fell” into the riverside.