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Four killed after Carnival float catches fire in Brazil

Published on Feb 12, 2013 7:39 PM

RIO DE JANEIRO (REUTERS) - Four people died after a Carnival float in the Brazilian port city of Santos caught fire early Tuesday, striking a sombre tone for the final day of exuberant Carnival celebrations throughout Brazil, police said.

The float, authorities said, caught fire after it struck a power line during manoeuvres following its participation in ongoing Carnival festivities.

The accident, which follows a nightclub fire that killed 239 people in southern Brazil last month, comes at a time when public events and venues are under intense scrutiny because of what critics consider the lax enforcement of safety and fire codes in the country.

The criticism comes as Brazil, Latin America's biggest country, prepares to welcome hundreds of thousands of visitors for the World Cup of soccer in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016.

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