Today in History: Circus Catches Fire in Brazil

circus

Inside the arena at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, showing ring layout and great crowd

On this day in 1961, a fire at a circus in Brazil kills more than 300 people and severely burns hundreds more.

The cause of the fire was never determined but it may have been the result of sparks from a train passing nearby.

Christmas week was just beginning, the children had just begun their winter vacations.

The large blue-and-white tent was set up across the bay from Rio de Janeiro and was filled to capacity.

All seemed to be proceeding as planned

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