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Mourners flee after corpse shot in casket

A dead woman in her casket was hit by a stray bullet during a wake in Rio de Janeiro and mourners fled in panic, police said on Wednesday.
/ Source: Reuters

A dead woman in her casket was hit by a stray bullet during a wake in Rio de Janeiro and mourners fled in panic, police said on Wednesday.

The bullet, fired in a shootout between a drug gang and police in a slum adjacent to the cemetery Tuesday, pierced the casket inside the cemetery’s chapel and got lodged in the corpse’s pelvis. Clenilda da Silva, 49, a babysitter, had died the previous day of a heart attack.

The bullet was not removed before burial.

“This is just too sad. My God, to get shot after death,” Extra tabloid newspaper quoted da Silva’s sister, Maria de Lourdes Pereira, as saying. The newspaper said another bullet broke a window in a neighboring chapel and bullet holes could be seen on many trees and cemetery walls.

Standoffs between drug gangs and police or just between rival gangs often claim innocent lives in Rio, which has one of the world’s highest murder rates.