Protesters, including teachers on strike, stole and extinguished the Olympic torch in Rio de Janeiro Wednesday, raising security concerns about potential disruptions when the Summer Olympic Games begin in Brazil on August 5.
The protesters disrupted the Olympic torch relay carrying the symbolic item into the city of Rio in Angra dos Reis, a municipality in Rio de Janeiro state. To steal the torch from official Olympic runners, the protesters threw stones and bricks at police and physically attacked those participating in the event.
According to the Brazilian outlet O Globo, the protesters demanded that an emergency response unit shut down due to lack of funds be reopened, as well as their own salaries as government employees. Rio de Janeiro state has been struggling to pay its workers for months. O Globo notes that at least one person, a child, was hospitalized following the protest. Military police halted the attack with tear gas and rubber bullets.
The protests also cut short the Olympic relay path.
The Washington Post notes that this is the latest in “a series of attempts to either steal or extinguish the Olympic torch, with fire extinguishers and buckets of water. Other times, the torch bearers have simply foiled themselves by slipping or tripping.”
Video indicates this was the most successful effort yet, as the torch can be seen not carrying a flame.