Latin America & Caribbean

Five die in Rio de Janeiro tram derailment

Firefighters survey the wreckage of a tram in Rio on 27 August 2011
Image caption The tram derailed in Rua Joaquim Murtinho, in central Rio de Janeiro

Rescue workers say five people were killed and at least 27 injured when a tram derailed in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro.

After coming off the rails, the tram skidded down a Rio street for 50m (55 yards) before crashing into a lamp post.

The accident comes two months after a French tourist died falling from a Rio tram as it was crossing a bridge.

The tram is a popular attraction, offering panoramic views of the city.

Local media reported one of those killed was driver Nelson Correa da Silva, 57.

The names of the remaining four victims, three women and one man, have not yet been released.

Of those injured, four are reported to be in a serious condition.

City icon

The accident happened on the Santa Teresa line, a historic tram line connecting the city centre with the Santa Teresa neighbourhood.

Speaking at the scene of the accident, Transport Secretary Julio Lopes said it was tragedy which would hurt tourism in the city.

He said the tram service would be suspended until the causes of the accident had been determined

Opened in 1896, Rio's tram is one of the oldest electrical tram systems in South America.

It was designated a national monument in 1988 and widely used in the promotional material that helped Rio win the contest to host the 2016 Olympics.

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