Thousands of people in Haiti's capital are attending a public funeral for 17 people who died in an accident involving a Carnival float.

Many mourners were wearing white T-shirts with a phrase in Creole that read, "In good times, in bad times, we're all Haitians."

President Michel Martelly and Prime Minister Evans Paul arrived Saturday morning and greeted the relatives of victims who lay in white caskets draped with the Haitian flag.

The accident occurred early Tuesday when a singer aboard a Carnival float touched a power line that caused the crowd to panic, resulting in a stampede. Dozens of others were injured.

The government-sponsored funeral was being held in the Champ de Mars park in Port-au-Prince.