New Orleans has banned so-called tandem floats for the remainder of its Mardi Gras celebrations this year after two people were struck and killed by such floats in a four-day span.
Mayor LaToya Cantrell announced the ban on Saturday night, after a man was struck by a float just before 7 p.m. as the Krewe of Endymion parade made its way along South Galvez and Canal Streets. Tandem floats are multiple floats connected by a hitch and pulled by one tractor.
The name of the victim, who was pronounced dead at the scene, was not immediately released. WSDU-TV, an NBC affiliate, reported that the man might have been reaching for beads when he was dragged under tandem float No. 13.
The remainder of the parade was canceled after the accident, and the other floats were not allowed to continue on the route.
Carnival is one of the most popular times to visit New Orleans; thousands of tourists flock to the city to watch the festive Endymion, Bacchus, Zulu and Rex parades. The Carnival season began on Jan. 6 and culminates Tuesday with Mardi Gras.
The accident on Saturday night was the second fatal episode involving tandem floats in four days. On Feb. 19, a float struck a woman at the intersection of Valence and Magazine Streets during the Krewe of Nyx parade. (Krewes are the exclusive clubs that stage parades and balls for the Carnival season.) The authorities said the woman died at the scene. The Orleans Parish Coroner’s Office identified her as Geraldine Carmouche, 58, of New Orleans, according to The Associated Press.
Ms. Cantrell, the mayor, said on Twitter: “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.”
The city’s Health Department announced that mental health and 24-hour crisis services were being offered to anyone who needed them.
The last time someone was fatally struck by a float during the city’s Carnival celebrations was in 2008, according to WDSU.