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Five killed, dozens injured when tram derails in Brazil


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Five killed, dozens injured when tram derails in Brazil

2011-08-29 07:31:44 GMT+7 (ICT)

RIO DE JANEIRO (BNO NEWS) -- At least five people were killed on Saturday and 54 others were wounded when a tram derailed in the Santa Teresa neighborhood of the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro, officials confirmed on Sunday.

Fabio Couri, the commander of the district fire department, said four people died at the scene of the accident, including the driver. One of the passengers who were seriously injured later succumbed to injuries at an area hospital, raising the total death toll to five.

Health officials said among the injured are five tourists, including three French, one Portuguese and one British citizen. At least eight patients have undergone orthopedic surgeries due to several fractures, the officials added.

Rio's Secretary of Transportation, Julio Lopes, visited the scene of the accident, which he said could hurt tourism in the city. Lopes said the tram service in the district will be suspended until the cause of the accident is determined.

According to a preliminary investigation, poor maintenance and overloading may have caused the derailment. At the time of the accident, the tram was carrying 62 passengers while the maximum allowed is 40.

On Sunday afternoon, residents of Santa Teresa demonstrated near the crash site while flowers were left to mourn the victims. Sunday's accident is not the country's first tram accident this year. In June, a French tourist died after falling from a tram as it was crossing a bridge.


-- © BNO News All rights reserved 2011-08-29

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