Truck plows into New Orleans Mardi Gras parade, 28 injured

WASHINGTON DC, USA – A suspected drunk driver plowed a pickup truck into a Mardi Gras parade Saturday, February 25, in New Orleans, leaving 28 people injured, including children, officials said.

"At this time it appears that it's a subject who was highly intoxicated, who struck a number of vehicles and then veered off hitting a whole bunch of innocent people," New Orleans Police Chief Michael Harrison told reporters.

Seven of those injured declined to go to the hospital, an official at the press conference said.

The age of the victims ranged from an approximately 3- to 4-year old child who was in stable condition, to people in their 30s or 40s, he added.

According to Harrison the vehicle driver is under investigation for drunk driving "and of course hitting all the people who were injured."

The driver plowed into the crowd just before 7 pm local time (0100 GMT Sunday, February 26) as spectators watched the Krewe of Endymion parade, which is part of the city's famous Mardi Gras celebrations.

New Orlean’s "Krewes" are the private organizations that lead parades and throw balls during the city's Carnival season.

"It's very hard to protect against somebody that's very intoxicated that runs through a crowd," Mayor Mitch Landrieu told reporters, adding that barricades had been put in place.

"People have to be responsible and they have to be thoughtful about what they do," he said.

Earlier in the day a man was wounded after a gun went off near the Krewe of Tucks parade elsewhere in town. Police believe the weapon was accidentally discharged inside a portable toilet, according to The Times-Picayune newspaper.

"In both instances our officers were on the scene within seconds if not minutes," Landrieu said. –