At least nine people were crushed to death this Sunday and seven were injured during a police intervention at a large 'funk' party in the Paraisópolis favela in Sao Paulo, Brazil, local police said.
The intervention took place during a 'funk' party, a popular dance among suburban communities in Brazil, held in Paraisópolis, one of the largest favelas in São Paulo, where more than 55,000 people live.
According to the police report, officers were chasing two motorbike people in Paraisópolis when they fired on the police and fled to the middle of the party, where more than 5000 people were present.
Police immediately called for reinforcements and entered the scene people were dancing.
According to the authorities' version, police officers were greeted with stones and bottles, so Military Police Tactical Force teams used "chemical ammunition" to "disperse and [maintain] the security of officers," as one official report to which the Spanish news agency Efe had access.
Police Commissioner Emiliano da Silva Neto told reporters that the deaths occurred as a result of "an accident" caused by the "herd effect" and emphasized that, in principle, "there was no excess" committed by the police.
The governor of the State of São Paulo, João Doria, lamented the tragedy through social networks and determined a "rigorous investigation of the facts to clarify the circumstances and who was responsible for the sad episode."
Some of the residents of the favela concerned admitted that there are several families in the community who are "desperate" because their children were at the party and have not yet returned home.
Carioca 'funk' parties – a musical style associated with Rio de Janeiro's favelas – are common in Brazil's poorest neighborhoods and gather thousands of young people from different parts of the country every weekend.
This type of party is frequent in Paraisópolis, a huge slum that borders one of the richest neighborhoods of the capital São Paulo.