Rio de Janeiro Carnival float collapses injuring 11

An injured performer lies on a stretcher on top of the float. Credit: AP

The top of a float collapsed during Rio de Janeiro's world famous Carnival parade, injuring at least 11 people.

The incident involved the second float of the popular samba school Unidos da Tijuca, themed around the Carnival in New Orleans.

Of the 11 people injured, Rio City Hall said nine were taken to hospital, two of who were in serious conditions, with one suffering head injuries.

Health officials added that eight other people were treated at the scene due to stress.

Performers are led away from the scene. Credit: AP

The parade was stopped for around 25 minutes so the injured could receive medical attention in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Once the injured had been treated to taken to hospital the parade re-started.

Felix Souza said he was dancing next to the float when the incident happened.

"We heard a burst on the top," he said.

"People started screaming, we didn't understand what it was. It was a moment of despair for all there."

A woman is helped off the float. Credit: AP

Ailton Freitas, a director at Unidos da Tijuca, said their floats had been tested repeatedly before the Carnival.

"We tested three times a week with more weight than we carried today. When the parade approached we started doing those tests every day. We are even more shocked than you all are," Ms Freitas said.

"I don't know what is happening, but Rio's Carnival is not being blessed this year."

The top of the Unidos da Tijuca float collapsed. Credit: APTN

Minutes earlier another incident happened with samba school Mocidade Independente.

A platform detached from their fourth float and dropped a reveller to the ground. The samba school said she was not injured.

On Sunday a float belonging to samba school Paraiso de Tuiuti crashed and injured at least 20 people, including three seriously.

Again, following the accident, organisers decided to proceed with the show.