PORT-AU-PRINCE - At least 18 people were killed and 60 injured early on Tuesday when a carnival float hit power lines in Haiti’s capital Port-au-Prince on the second day of the annual festival, officials said.

The float caught fire after it hit a high-voltage overhead power cable, witnesses said. Video of the incident appeared to show the electric cable catch the head of a singer from hip-hop band Barikad Crew near the presidential stand packed with spectators. Seven people were reported dead on the float, and others were killed in the ensuing panic. The singer, known as Fantom, was among the injured, according to a friend.

President Michel Martelly expressed his “sincerest sympathies” to the victims in a Twitter message while his wife visited hospitals treating the injured.

The raucous three-day annual street parade coincides with other Mardi Gras carnivals around the world and attracts large night-time crowds eager to witness competing music bands atop highly decorated floats.

The US embassy in Haiti issued a pre-carnival message it which it warned “Carnival can be a fun, yet potentially unsafe, place for revelers,” highlighting the threat of strong-arm robberies, assaults, and pick-pocketing.

Meanwhile, three men were killed early Tuesday when a Carnival float ran into a power line in the southeastern Brazilian city of Nova Iguacu, local media reported.

The Palmerinha samba school was getting ready to go on parade when one of its floats hit the power line, electrocuting the three men riding it.

Emergency personnel tried to revive them, but without success, officials quoted on the Globo G1 news site said.

Another samba school “was finishing its parade. As soon as it did, we cancelled the other presentations,” said civil defence chief Luiz Antunez.

In other Carnival deaths, a man was shot and killed Monday night in the northeastern city of Bahia.

The G1 website said he was the second person to die of a gunshot wound since Sunday in Bahia, a city famous for its raucous Carnivals.

In Rio, police used tear gas to disperse crowds when a street party degenerated into a brawl in the Complexo de Alemao, one of the city’s toughest favelas, images on Globo TV showed.

Police in Sao Paulo also resorted to tear gas early Tuesday after revellers in the hip Vila Madalena neighborhood refused to heed a 1:00 am closing time set by the authorities.

Four people were injured in the ensuing scuffles, including a policeman hit by a bottle, the daily Folha de Sao Paulo reported.