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Helicopter Carrying Brazilian Santa Comes Under Fire over Rio Shantytown

Dec. 19, 2007, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - Not even Santa is safe in Rio de Janeiro.


December 19, 2007
By Canadian Press

Topics

Dec. 19, 2007, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Not even Santa is safe in Rio de
Janeiro.

Authorities say a  helicopter carrying a Santa Claus to
distribute gifts at a Christmas party came under fire when it flew
over a Rio shantytown.

Two rifle shots hit the chopper in Sunday's incident.

Police Insp. Aldari Vianna says no one was hurt and the aircraft
returned safely to base. He says gang members apparently mistook the
aircraft for a police helicopter.

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It's not unusual for criminal gangs to shoot at police
helicopters in Rio de Janeiro, one of the most violent cities in the
world.

Santa was later transported by car to the party for children in
another poor neighbourhood of Rio, where he distributed about 700
gifts.

“As a Santa Claus, I was very sad to see the children
frustrated,'' the bullet-dodging elf was quoted by the Agencia
Estado news service as saying. “They were expecting Santa to arrive
by helicopter and that didn't happen.''


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