A man was killed Saturday night after being struck and apparently falling between two sections of a massive tandem float at a New Orleans Mardi Gras parade, police said. It's the second fatality in four nights at Mardi Gras celebrations in the city.
Mayor LaToya Cantrell announced Saturday night that tandem floats, multiple floats connected together and pulled by a tractor, would be banned.
"To be confronted with such tragedy a second time at the height of our Carnival celebrations seems an unimaginable burden to bear," Cantrell wrote on Twitter. "The City and the people of New Orleans will come together, we will grieve together, and we will persevere together."
The victim was caught between two parts of a tandem float at Krewe of Endymion, CBS New Orleans affiliate WWL-TV reported. It was not clear immediately if the man was pushed into the opening as a crowd surged or if he fell pursuing some throws.
The victim was struck by float 14, the Captain S.S. Eddie.
"I cannot wrap my head around witnessing this," Jonah Gilmore, a former WWL employee who was present when the accident occurred, told the station. "The screams, seeing CPR performed on his body, and seeing them finally drape that sheet. I never imagined I would witness something so horrific."
The rest of Saturday's festivities were canceled, leaving tens of thousands of people in the streets anticipating a huge show with notice - often by word of mouth, or by mobile or social alert - that there would be only a limited show, WWL-TV reported.
On February 19, a 58-year-old woman died after witnesses said she was run over by a parade float during Krewe of Nyx. Witnesses said the woman, New Orleans native Geraldine Carmouche, had apparently tried to cross between two parts of a tandem float and tripped over a hitch connecting the sections, the Associated Press reported.
Endymion ended after its first 13 floats while Nyx was canceled after 20 floats. Both left hundreds of riders with thousands of dollars of throws with no one to toss them to, WWL-TV reported.
At least three of the remaining krewes that have multiple tandem floats quickly said they would abide by the ruling and split their connected multi-part floats into separate floats.
The Krewes of Bacchus quickly put out statements saying they will comply with the city's request to split all tandem floats and are working to find enough tractors to pull the additional floats.
"We have spoken with Kern Studios and we will comply with the City of New Orleans' request to split our tandem floats," the statement reads. "The Krewe of Bacchus will roll as usual on Bacchus Sunday at 5:15 pm from Napoleon and Tchoupitoulas."