At least 16 people were killed after a power line struck one of the floats during the annual festivities in Haiti.

The annual three-day carnival in the capital, Port au Prince, was attended by thousands as a singer on top of one of the float was shocked by high-voltage wires overhead as it passed below. It set off panic and confusion with officials saying that dozens of people were trampled.

Haitian Prime Minister Evans Paul confirmed the number of dead being 16, with 78 being injured. Nadia Lochard, a coordinator for the Department of Civil Protection, though did say that at least 20 people had been killed. "I saw the wire falling and sparks and I started running for my life," Natacha Saint Fleur said.

Haitian President Michel Martelly gave his condolences to the victims on Twitter. "My sincere sympathy to the victims of the serious incident at Champ de Mars on the second day of carnival," the president tweeted. Three days of mourning have been declared on the island with officials seeing fit to cancel the final day of the carnival.