When people talk about Rio de Janeiro in Brazil there are some things that are always mentioned; Corcovado (The Statue of Christ), Pão de Açucar (Sugar Loaf) and always the bonde (tram) to Santa Teresa.

The Bondinho (Little Tram) high above Lapa

Tourists and locals (because the tram is public transport, it costs the same as the city buses) use the tram from the station  in the shadow of Petrobras’ building behind Carioca Square and travel high above Lapa on the Arcos (Arches).

The Bondinhos are public transport

Once across Lapa the bondinho wound its way up the narrow streets of Santa Teresa competing with cars and buses.

Today (27th Aug) ended in tragedy. One of the trams left the rails, apparently losing its brakes and out of control.

The tram derailed in Rua Joaquim Murtinho, Santa Teresa - BBC

Five died instantly and more than 60 taken to hospitals, 10 in a serious condition. There were tourists and locals on the tram and many had to be freed from the wreckage.

Read more on BBCNews

The tram service has been suspended, amid accusations of poor maintenance, and will remain so until after the police enquiry.

It would be sad to see this as the end of an era that stretches back more than a century.

Advertisements