NEW ORLEANS — One man is in custody after an accident at a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans injured at least 28 people, five seriously, officials said.
Police Chief Michael Harrison said it appeared the suspect, who was driving a pickup truck that hit two cars before running into the crowd, was likely highly intoxicated. Among the injured, the youngest is 3 and the oldest are in their 40s.
None of the injuries was life-threatening, officials said.
The incident occurred near the intersection of Orleans and Carrollton Avenues where the Krewe of Endymion parade was underway.
Here are the latest developments in this story:
• A total of 21 people were hospitalized, including one female police officer. She was in good spirits, the chief said.
• Seven other people who were hurt declined medical transportation.
• Some of the bystanders who helped care for the injured were emergency responders who were tourists in town for Mardi Gras, the chief said.
• Harrison said there is no indication the accident was an act of terrorism.
• Video from CNN affiliate WDSU showed a gray pickup truck that had crashed into a dump truck on a median near the intersection.
• Witnesses told the station the pickup came down one of the streets and struck several cars before hitting people in the crowd watching the parade.
• “I saw the gray truck flying down Carrollton Avenue,” a female witness told WDSU. “He sped up and he lost control and you could see was getting ready to turn and I knew he was going to run into all those people.”
• The accident happened around 6:42 p.m. (7:42 p.m. ET).
The Endymion parade is one of the biggest parades leading up to Mardi Gras, which is Tuesday, and one of the most family-oriented. Many parents brought their children to the event.
The parade, held in the Mid-City neighborhood far from the French Quarter, includes three dozen tractor-drawn floats, some of them double- and triple-deckers.
Mardi Gras, French for “Fat Tuesday,” is a day of revelry that includes parades, parties and gastronomic indulgence before the Christian fasting season of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday. It marks the last day of the Carnival season.
Mardi Gras has also come to refer to the weekend of parties and celebrations immediately preceding Lent.
The day is also called Shrove Tuesday, Carnival Tuesday or Pancake Tuesday, depending on where the celebration is taking place.