For the third time in as many days, accidents involving floats in Rio de Janeiro’s world famous Carnival parade have halted celebrations and sent dancers to hospital.
The top of a float collapsed during parade celebrations at Rio’s Sambadrome early on Tuesday, injuring at least 12 people, with nine taken to local hospitals officials said.
Two people were reported to be in serious condition.
The incident involved the second float of the popular samba school Unidos da Tijuca, themed around the Carnival in New Orleans.
Revellers cried on the pavement and in the stands as injured people were removed by rescuers.
The parade had to be stopped for almost 25 minutes so the injured could get medical attention, but the show was then allowed to proceed.
Minutes earlier a smaller incident happened with samba school Mocidade Independente, when a platform detached from their fourth float and dropped a reveller to the ground, but the samba school said she was not injured.
WATCH: 20 injured after Rio Carnival float pins dancers against wall
The latest incidents come just days after a float crashed during the Carnival parade Sunday evening.
Twenty people were injured, including three people who were reported in serious condition, but organizers proceeded with the show.
The incident involved the last float of the first samba school parading through the Sambadrome. The float of samba school Paraiso de Tuiuti crashed into a fence that separates the stands from the pavement, injuring spectators, revellers and journalists. One reporter had an exposed fracture.
Police began an investigation as soon as the float finished its transit through the Sambadrome.
“The last float went into reverse and ended up pressing revellers against the fence on one side. That caused chaos. Then the drivers made a quick manoeuvre to the opposite direction and injured more people,” Bezerra said. “The main driver of the float mixed with the rest of the samba school and left. But he has already been identified and will be investigated.”
Rio’s state health secretary said in a statement that eight of the 20 people involved in the incident were in hospital and three women were in serious condition.
The pavement of the Sambadrome was wet because of a persistent drizzle. Rain can make the big floats harder to guide.
In a statement, samba school Paraiso do Tuiuti said it “deeply regrets” the incident. “Our board offers its deepest sentiments and is open to make any clarifications as soon as all the causes of the accident are investigated. We will offer all the assistance to the victims of this irreparable incident,” the samba school said.
Despite the accident, the head of the Rio parade, Elmo dos Santos, said that “the show must go on.”
“The rain made the car veer to the left. Organizers tried to adjust, but then they lost control. It is all regrettable, but we cannot stop,” dos Santos told journalists.
Elmano Santos, a reveller from Rio, said the float missed him by centimetres.
“It was very quick. I saw a few journalists taking pictures close to the float get injured, he told The Associated Press.
Paraiso do Tuiuti was the first of six samba schools parading in the night’s extravaganza at the Sambadrome, which ran until early Monday.
Only revellers at the entrance of the Sambadrome were aware of the incident. Many who found out later agreed with the decision to carry on.
“It is all very sad, but to stop Carnival would create an even bigger problem,” said Jonas Elias, a tourist from Salvador. “Of course this spoils the party a bit, but to frustrate all this crowd would make the tragedy even bigger.”