The pavement of the Sambadrome was wet because of a persistent drizzle. “The last float went into reverse and ended up pressing revelers against the fence on one side. That caused chaos. Then the conductors made a quick maneuver to the opposite direction and injured more people,” police investigator William Lourenco Bezerra said. He also said the three conductors of the float would be questioned Monday morning, adding that one driver already had been identified as the main focus of the probe. In addition to analyzing the parade float, authorities will study TV footage of the accident.
The head of the Rio parade, Elmo dos Santos, decided that “the show must go on.” Paraiso do Tuiuti was the first of six samba schools parading in the night’s extravaganza at the Sambadrome, which was scheduled to run until early Monday. Authorities consider Sunday’s float crash the worst in Rio Carnival history.