Rio de Janeiro streets fill with rainwater

Written by Staff Writer Lisa Fernandez, CNN

At a parade in the Brazilian town of Praia da Pesca, a woman was injured by a falling pavement when it gave way during the march.

Local officials say two cars were driving along a residential street when the ground beneath them started giving way. An estimated 30 people fell into the Cuscatan River, including a 13-year-old boy who was thrown from a taxi and a 9-year-old girl.

Paramedics rescued two of the five survivors from the river who were pulled from the vehicles, according to The Globe and Mail .

The woman injured was airlifted to a hospital and listed in stable condition, according to Aris Belyanin, a spokesman for the safety coordinator in the municipality.

Officials say they’re conducting an investigation into why the pavement gave way, but that it’s not known whether it was due to construction or flooding.

“We’re doing as much as we can. It’s very hard because the sidewalks are collapsing. All the pipes are leaky,” another municipal official told the Globe and Mail.

Buildings are just one area that is falling apart in Brazil, where poor maintenance coupled with increased demand have contributed to an ongoing infrastructure crisis.

Much of the nation’s infrastructure, such as highways, is nearing the end of its useful lifespan. And an extensive revamp of Sao Paulo’s public transport system, due to begin this summer, has been fraught with construction delays and growing costs.

In recent years, vast numbers of construction cranes have dot the Rio de Janeiro skyline, some of which are still three years away from completion. The work is intended to double the city’s GDP and relieve it of overcrowding by building new public transportation.

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