Daniel “Fantom” Darius described the second his head touched a live power line during Carnival celebrations in Haiti that left 17 people dead and at least 78 others injured.
“I looked up and saw the wire, and saw fire and I didn’t know anything after that,” said Darinus, who was badly burned.
“I just remember I was on the float having fun, singing, performing, making the people dance,” Darinus said. “Everyobody was enjoying themselves, and I just heard boom and after that I don’t remember (anything).”
Darius is a member of Barikad Crew, one of the most popular hip-hop groups in Haiti. He said someone on the float used a stick to move some low hanging power lines but missed one of them. He received a shock to the head and lost consciousness.
“I was knocked out and when I woke up I just seen everybody was all around,” Darinus said.
Several others were shocked as well. Carnival guests rushed away in panic, trampling others to get to safety. Darinus was rushed to the hospital, where he stayed for several days receiving treatment for the burns to his head, face, chest and hands.
“In the hospital in Haiti — I gotta give them a lot of credit — they did everything that they had to do to try to make sure that my face is back to normal,” Darinus said. “The government in Haiti also wanted to do the same, so they sent me here to get treatment.”
The final day of Carnival was canceled so the country could mourn. On Saturday, thousands gathered in Haiti’s main public park to say goodbye to those who died. Darinus said he knows he could’ve easily been one of the dead, so he’ll continue to make music knowing he’s lucky to be alive.
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