Haiti: Dozens dead after carnival float hits high-voltage cable

The Haitian government have cancelled the last day of carnival in the capital Port-au-Prince after at least 18 people died when a float hit a power line, officials have said.

Most of the dead were trampled to death in a stampede after the float hit a high-voltage overhead power cable, witnesses said.

Credit: RTV

News agencies Reuters and the Associated Press report that video posted to YouTube showed the deadly cable catching a popular singer known as Fantom on the float as it passed near the presidential spectators stand.

Seven people on the float were electrocuted, and others died in the ensuing panic. Fantom, part of the hip-hop band Barikad Crew, was among the injured, according to one of his friends.

Credit: RTV

President Michel Martelly expressed his "sincerest sympathies" to the victims and his wife visited the hospitals that were treating the injured, it has been reported.

Officials later announced that the last day of the carnival had been cancelled and the country would spend three days in mourning.

The raucous three-day annual street parade coincides with other Mardi Gras carnivals around the world and attracts large night-time crowds eager to witness competing bands atop highly decorated and colourful floats.