A large fire swept through the center of Carnival preparations in Rio de Janeiro on Monday, destroying hundreds of costumes and floats less than a month ahead of Brazil's annual festival of hedonism.
Television images showed plumes of smoke rising over central Rio from a large, blackened section of the City of Samba complex where the city's main Carnival groups spend months preparing their annual parades.
"It's an unimaginable loss," Jorge Castanheira, the president of Carnival organizing body Liesa, was quoted as saying by Globo's news web site.
Workers were shown entering the complex trying to salvage some of the elaborate floats as firefighters battled the blaze, which appeared to have been brought under control.
Media said four samba groups, or "schools," had been heavily affected by the fire, throwing into doubt their planned parades through Rio's Sambadrome for Carnival, which gets under way on March 4.
I can only imagine how devastating this must be for them !! All that work!!! I know so many people here who work on these types of floats,from designers to just plain ol' grunt work. Having toured some of these warehouses here,both large and small,this is tragic,all that hard work gone up in smoke.
The news has shown that when there's a will, there's a way -- the TV images of the carnival look as spectacular as ever.
YIP!!!!!!!!!!! (you can't keep the Carnival down!!!)
In 1979,there was a Police strike here in NOLA,all the "official" parades were canceled,however,many ,many makeshift ,renegade parades formed up and marched. It was one of the very best Carnivals I ever attended and was a part of. It was also my husband and I's first Carnival together.