A massive fire in Rio de Janeiro has destroyed over eight thousand costumes and floats for Brazil's popular Carnaval, scheduled to take place next month. The fire, which began at around 7 am on Monday, affected three samba dance schools which were scheduled to take part at the Sambódromo stadium on March 6 and 7.

The grand festival which kicks off on 5 March, 2011 is one of the most important festivals held annually in the region. The parade is considered a sacred ritual by many generating thousands of jobs every year in the region.