Four people were killed earlier today when a parade float touched a power cable and caused a short circuit.
The float, which belonged to a samba group called Sangue Jovem, was part of the Carnival celebration which is celebrated throughout Brazil every year with colorful costumes and street parades. After the fire, the event was canceled.
“This is a tragedy for our city,” said the Mayor of Santos, Paulo Alexandre Barbosa. “We cannot continue the parade in the current mood. This is a moment of extreme sadness.”
Officials say the incident caused a power outage for thousands; the city of Santos was in the dark for several hours, but the fire has also brought back unpleasant memories of a nightclub fire in southern Brazil last month which killed 239 people.
Today’s deadly fire has many worried about the consequences of having so many visitors to the country for next year’s World Cup games, and the Olympics in 2016. The country has come under scrutiny since the nightclub fire last month, after which it was announced that the club had inadequate fire exits and was overcrowded.