Brazil military parade collapses: 30 people sent into river after wall collapses during celebrations

A major street in northern Brazil collapsed during a military parade on Thursday, sending 30 people into the Rio Grande do Norte River and injuring 12. Authorities said the parade, for the 30th anniversary…

Brazil military parade collapses: 30 people sent into river after wall collapses during celebrations

A major street in northern Brazil collapsed during a military parade on Thursday, sending 30 people into the Rio Grande do Norte River and injuring 12. Authorities said the parade, for the 30th anniversary of the National Army, was short and festive and that some revelers may have jumped off an overpass or fall onto the street during the event.

In the images circulated of the disaster, several people who appeared to be youths can be seen moving casually with arms around each other and people attending the festivities stood around in shock. One man can be seen standing by himself at the side of the street and obviously shaken.

A jogger is lowered to the river, according to one report. The 26-mile river where the accident occurred is the waterway that joins two of the largest lakes in the western hemisphere. The river’s water is infested with “large amounts of bacterial, animal and sewage particles,” though the Rio Grande do Norte looks much worse on Thursday because it’s so very cold at this time of year. The lower depths and cold waters on the river allowed river pirates to carry wild animals and trash down to the shores in packs, but the area is also famous for its bonsai trees, which create beautiful parklands.

Early reports indicated that a wall collapsed and that people were swept down the river by a wave that hit as the military parade was ending. The military would not allow anyone on the river to speak to the press.

Heavy rains hit the Rio Grande do Norte, with more than 24 inches of rain recorded by Thursday evening, with the worst of the weather expected Friday.

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