By Patricia Maresch, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – An accident with the bonde (streetcar) that runs from Santa Teresa to Largo da Carioca in downtown Rio de Janeiro took the life of five people, and left 57 passengers injured, after derailing and flipped over Saturday evening.

Wreck of the Bonde in Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Wreck of the Bonde in Santa Teresa, image recreation.

The driver of the bonde survived the accident, but died in the ambulance. Sixteen victims were taken to various hospitals, of which ten are said to be in critical condition.

The bonde was completely full with passengers and was going downhill taking a turn when it lost control. According to witnesses the bonde’s brakes appeared to not work.

Rio’s Secretary of Transportation, Julio Lopes, appeared at the scene of the accident and said all rides with the bonde will be suspended until the police have investigated the cause of the accident.

This is not the first accident with the bonde this year. In June a French tourist died after falling to his death from the bonde when the streetcar passed the Arcos da Lapa.

Read more (in Portuguese).

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  1. The tram was carrying 61 passengers, 50% more than its official capacity. Rio’s Sec’y of Transportation said the brakes all worked, which is rubbish, as CREA and eyewitnesses pointed out the next day. The tram car itself was 50 years old, and from the way it crumpled badly, one knows it needed more interior structural reinforcement, like passenger cars have to have.
    My guess is that the City will now look at the entire tram system and decide that running those rambling wrecks up and down curvy hillsides is not safe. It’s a great shame that it took 5 fatalities to make that happen.

  2. This along with the building collapse and the recent police strike does not bode well for the tourist industry. When these happen, we notice people canceling their reservations. Hopefully the government gets their act together to enforce the laws so that the infrastructure is ready and safe for the world cup and olympics….if not, you will eventually see drops in real estate values.


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