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EMS: 2 fall from Mardi Gras-season parade floats Sunday; 1 in critical condition

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NEW ORLEANS - Two men were injured falling from floats in a Mardi Gras-season parade Sunday, despite a city ordinance requiring riders to wear a safety belt or harness.

The first man fell from a float in the Krewe of Alla parade about 4:15 p.m. Sunday and was in stable condition when brought to a hospital, said Liz Belcher, a spokeswoman for New Orleans Emergency Medical Services. The second man fell from a separate, double-decker float about 5:30 p.m. and was taken to the city's trauma centre in critical condition, Belcher said. The hospital later told her that he had been stabilized. She did not have the men's names or ages.

Dozens of parades roll in New Orleans for two weeks leading up to Mardi Gras, which falls on March 4 this year. Three rolled Sunday.

Most are put on by private groups called krewes. The Krewe of Alla, which had 20 floats this year, bills itself as the fourth-oldest group parading in New Orleans.

The city's parade ordinance requires each rider to wear a safety belt or harness attached to an eye bolt or equivalent fastened to the framework of the float.

The New Orleans Fire Department's pre-parade inspection found the floats met the rules, Belcher said. She said the fire department will investigate the falls.

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