A huge fire has ripped through a Rio de Janeiro complex, which stores floats and costumes for the Rio Carnival, which is due to begin on March 4.

Workers at the Samba City warehouse have spent months preparing for the legendary street parade – putting together some of the most beautiful carnival creations in the world.

More than 8000 of costumes and several floats have been destroyed and now there is a real worry that the festival may not go ahead this year.

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Samba worker Tania Aparecida said: “We lost everything, it’s a huge suffering.

“This was the work of an entire life that we had, that we loved, that we cared, and to see it like this, turning into ashes in a minute.”

It is not yet known how the fire started, but it is believed to have broken out before any of the workers got to work.

Emergency crew and workers managed to rescue some of the festival equipment from the flames but the damage of the fire is immense.

The president of the League of Samba Schools Jorge Castanheira, said: “We are heartbroken. Everything was practically ready for the carnival.”

He said there wouldn’t be enough time to replace everything for the carnival but was determined the event still would go ahead.