NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A person was struck and killed by a Mardi Gras float during a raucous Saturday night street parade in New Orleans, the second person in days killed along a parade route in this year’s Carnival season, authorities said.
A city agency tasked with emergency preparedness tweeted that the person was fatally injured Saturday night as the popular Krewe of Endymion was rolling. The agency’s online platform, NOLA Ready, tweetetd it had no immediate details exactly how the death occurred or the person’s identity.
NOLA Ready said the remainder of Endymion’s parade was scrapped Saturday evening. Reports said 13 floats had already gone ahead when the accident occurred with the 14th float in the formation. Remaining floats that followed, along with marching groups, diverted elsewhere from the accident scene on Canal Street, a wide route in this Mississippi River port city popular with parade viewers.
New Orleans police said first responders swiftly converged on the site, tweeting out calls for crowds to avoid the area.
The float, with its gaudy lights still twinkling, was cordoned off by police on horseback and on foot. All around, streets were strewn with tossed bead necklaces and trinkets thrown from the floats, along with other party debris. TV stations reported a somber mood had taken hold of members of the parade group upon learning of the fatality.
The fatality came as New Orleans was still mourning the death of a 58-year-old woman who — witnesses said — was run over by a parade float Wednesday night in the run-up to the Fat Tuesday finale.
Mayor LaToya Cantrell said Saturday night that the south Louisiana city was grieving.
“To be confronted with such tragedy a second time at the height of our Carnival celebrations seems an unimaginable burden to bear. The City and the people of New Orleans will come together, we will grieve together, and we will persevere together,” Cantrell said in a statement. “Our hearts break for those lost and for their loved ones, and our prayers and deepest sympathies are with them.”