A person was struck and killed Saturday night by a float in a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans, authorities said, marking the second such death this week in the city and casting a shadow on celebrations.
The city’s emergency preparedness agency, NOLA Ready, tweeted that the Endymion parade, named after a figure from Greek mythology, was canceled after the accident. It also said tandem floats, multiple floats connected and pulled by a single tractor, would not be allowed for the remainder of the Mardi Gras season.
Officials did not say whether the person was struck by a tandem float. New Orleans police said the city will need to make safety assessments before such floats are allowed again.
A 58-year-old woman was killed Wednesday when she attempted to cross between two parts of a tandem float. She tripped on a hitch and was run over by the float.
Thirteen floats had already gone ahead Saturday night before the accident occurred with the 14th float in the parade, according to NOLA Ready. Floats and marching groups that followed were diverted from the accident scene on Canal Street, a wide route popular with parade viewers, the AP reported.
New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell tweeted her condolences to the families of the victims.
“To be confronted with such tragedy a second time at the height of our Carnival celebrations seems an unimaginable burden to bear,” she said. “The City and the people of New Orleans will come together, we will grieve together, and we will persevere together.”
This week’s deaths are the first float-related fatalities in New Orleans since 2008, when a man was killed during the Endymion parade as he was attempting to disembark from a float, according to Nola.com.
Mardi Gras is Feb. 25, but the Fat Tuesday celebration is preceded by a week or more of parades and parties.
The two deaths this week come one year after a car sped into a bicycle lane near a parade route, hitting nine people and killing two bicyclists, the AP reported.