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At least 16 killed in Brazilian pre-Carnival party

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • A power line hit a party truck Sunday
  • Those on the street were electrocuted, fire fighters say
  • Party ribbon may have loosened the power line
  • Brazil
  • Sao Paulo

(CNN) -- At least 16 people were killed in southern Brazil at a pre-Carnival party when a power line burst over a party truck, electrocuting revelers, the Minas Gerais state fire department said Monday.

The accident happened Sunday night during festivities in Bandeira do Sul, about 190 miles north of Sao Paulo.

Coiled party ribbon thrown into the air may have hit the power line and caused it to come loose, the fire department said. The ribbon may have had a metallic element to it, officials said.

The wire hit a "trio eletrico," a truck used in Carnival celebrations that is outfitted with speakers and sometimes features bands on the roof. One victim was on the trio eletrico, and the others were on the street around it, the fire department said.

"Several partygoers were gravely hurt, suffering from the high voltage discharge," the fire department said.

Sixteen people were declared dead at the scene, and those injured were transported to hospitals in critical condition, the department said. It was not known how many were hurt.