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Man killed by parade float

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A man was struck and killed by a Mardi Gras float during a raucous Saturday night street parade in New Orleans, becoming the second person in days killed along a parade route during this year’s Carnival season, authorities said.

The man was fatally injured just before 7 p.m. as the popular Krewe of Endymion was rolling, New Orleans police said in a statement. He was pronounced dead at the scene, and the Orleans Parish Coroner’s Office was to release his name and cause of death after completing an autopsy and notifying his family.

The remainder of Endymion’s parade was scrapped Saturday evening. Police 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, were diverted from the accident scene on Canal Street, a wide route popular with parade viewers in the Mississippi River port city.

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. A somber mood had taken hold of members of the parade group, TV stations reported.

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.

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.”

On Sunday, Cantrell re-emphasized the need for safety precautions and said the issue will be examined in the coming days.

“In the weeks and months ahead, we will be looking at further changes that need to be made to make our routes and our celebrations more safe — but the work starts right now,” she said in a statement.

Wednesday’s fatality had occurred during the parade of the Mystic Krewe of Nyx, an all-female Carnival group.

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