QUITO – More than 50 people died and more than 170 were injured in Ecuador during the country’s four-day Carnival holiday, officials said on Tuesday.
Juan Zapata, director-general of Ecuador’s security services, said in a press conference that figures for the event, which began Saturday, are still preliminary.
“The [security services] have so far recorded: 33 dead and 171 injuries (traffic accidents). Public Safety [has recorded] 15 (homicides and murders) and risk management 7 (drownings), which gives an unfortunate balance of 55 people killed and 171 injured and injured,” he said.
He added they had 5,865 surveillance cameras and that security services received 173,996 calls – 56,688 of them emergencies – during the four days.
One of the major incidents left eight people dead and 29 injured in the coastal province of Guayas, when a public bus and a trailer collided.
Juan Pazos, the transit authorities representative, reported at the press conference that 139 traffic accidents took place countrywide, leaving 33 dead and 171 injured.
Pablo Rodriguez, the police’s operations director, said 25,181 patrol operations were reported as of 6:00 am local time (1100 GMT) Tuesday.
He said 353 people were arrested for various crimes, 19 criminal organizations were dismantled, 41 firearms were seized and more than 900 kilograms of drugs seized.
The Health Ministry said through social media it activated a contingency plan to provide care to the community of Tunsalao Parroquia San Andres, which suffered several food poisoning cases.
“At the moment, people are stable and carry the appropriate treatment and medication,” he said without offering details on the number of people affected.
Several cities of the coast and the south of the country suffered floods due to heavy rains, which forced the evacuation of several people.
In other areas, there were traffic complications from landslides that affected roads.
According to tourism official Ricardo Zambrano, the preliminary figures of the holiday account for about 726,000 trips nationwide.
“This figure is important as it is generating an economic impact of $65.3 million,” he said, adding that the sum of money influences local economic revitalization and the revival of destinations.