03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Rio de Janeiro Tense After 5 Die in Drug Violence

At least five people were killed and eight injured in Rio de Janeiro today in intense clashes between drug traffickers and police, Globo (Portuguese) reports.

A police helicopter was shot down and five buses were destroyed, with most of the violence taking place in the neighborhoods of Vila Isabel and Sampaio. Other shootings have also been reported in the last 24 hours.

Local Twitterers provided additional context about the violence and the personal impact it has had on Rio citizens:

  1. Vania Lacerda
    VaniaLacerda (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) A situação aqui no Rio é gravíssima.Helicóptero da PM foi abatido,4 onibus incendiados,várias mortes.Tenho 1 casamento pra ir,mas desisti. (The situation here in Rio is very serious. PM’s helicopter was shot down, 4 buses torched, several dead. I had 1 wedding to go to, but gave up.)
  2. Paulo
    LatinBoyBrazil (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) up n awake.. in da tvnews:” 4 buses burnt + 1 police helicopter knock down in a hood of Rio by drug dealers. im not freaked or surprised o/
  3. Bruno Nunes Costa
    brunonunescosta (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) Esse clima de tensão no RJ que tanto falam na tv, é bem aqui pertinho da minha casa, eu vi o helicóptero queimando ainda no ar! (This climate of tension in the RJ that is talked about so much on TV, is right here close to my house, I saw the helicopter burning still in the air!)
  4. Rafaela Carrilho
    Raficha (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) And the war continues: a helicopter was shoting down, bus set on fire, people already dead… WELCOME TO RIO DE JANEIRO
  5. Bianca Leão
    MissLeao (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) Helicóptero da polícia é derrubado em tiroteiro. Rio de Janeiro. Quer vir? Venha por seu próprio risco. (Police helicopter is shot down in firefight. Rio de Janeiro. Want to come? Come at your own risk.)
  6. Dep. Rodrigo Dantas
    RodrigoDantasRJ (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) Imaginem a situação das famílias dos dois PM´s mortos na queda do helicóptero.Dia horroroso pra cidade,dia que não acabou pra essas famílias (Imagine the situation of the families of the two PM’s dead in the helicopter crash. Horrific day to town, this day do not end prayer for these families)
  7. ♥Byanka Limps♥
    limpss (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) @RonanFilip Pois é o helicoptero caiu em sampaio…tenho uma colega q mora em frente akele campo!…o.O (For the helicopter that crashed in sampaio…I have a colleague who lives right in front of the field!…o.O)
  8. thais g.
    thaisguimaraes (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) RT @_anacarla No exterior : um helicoptéro cai por falha técnica . Aqui no RJ : um helicoptéro cai porque os bandidos derrubam (RT @_anacarla Abroad: A helicopter drops by a technical fault. Here in Rio de Janeiro: A helicopter drops because the bandits drop it)

The violence occurred just weeks after Rio de Janeiro was awarded the 2016 Summer Olympic Games on Oct. 2, a point not missed by Rio Twitter users:

  1. Bianca Rio
    BiancaRio (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) Destroem trens, queimam onibus, abatem helicoptero blindado. Pq não botaram esse tipo de imagens no video de candidatura do #Rio2016 ? (Destroy trains, burning buses, armored helicopter slaughtered. Cause they not put that kind of image in the video application #Rio2016?)
  2. André Jotha
    andrejotha (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) Cidade Olímpica tem HELICÓPTERO caindo? (The Olympic city has HELICOPTER falling?)
  3. Carlo Carrenho
    carrenho Drug dealers shot down a police helicopter in Rio. Two cops dead. Why don’t we do the Olympics in Bagdah? #OlympicDisaster