By Chesney Hearst, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – During the pyrotechnics show held to usher in the New Year on Thursday, January 1st, one of the eleven barges used to release fireworks caught fire.
The barge, positioned on the Atlantic Ocean in front of Leme Beach and near a massive cruise liner on the water, was loaded with approximately three thousand fireworks to be released during the New Year’s Eve 2015 celebrations.
The fire broke out around the tenth minute of the sixteen-minute show and some of the fireworks on the barge continued to ignite while the fire burned.
Nearby tugboats arrived and sprayed water jets on the fire and crews extinguished the fire by forty minutes after midnight. There were no casualites nor injuries, according to the fire department.
On Copacabana Beach and neighboring Leme Beach, an estimated two million people were in attendance for the fireworks display and live entertainment that took place during the event.
Despite the burning barge, the crowd reportedly was awed by the show which consisted of 34,000 fireworks and an effects sequence, which featured the words “Rio 450,″ in celebration of the beginning of the 450th anniversary of the city.