A baby has been killed and at least 15 people injured after a car ploughed through a busy promenade on Copacabana Beach.

The horrifying incident happened at 8.45pm local time (10.45pm GMT) on Rio de Janeiro's Rua Figueredo de Magalhães boardwalk near the iconic beauty spot.

Initial reports claim an eight-month-old baby has been killed and at least 15 people injured, according to the Daily Mail.

Police officers stand next to the a car that has driven into the crowded seaside boardwalk along Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photo / AP
Police officers stand next to the a car that has driven into the crowded seaside boardwalk along Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photo / AP

Authorities have confirmed the driver, Almeida Anakim, 41, had an epileptic seizure and lost control of his car. He has been detained by police.

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The incident is not being treated as terror-related.

Local media has reported that a woman is in a critical condition in hospital, while two other children have also been rushed to the emergency department.

Their injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

The Hyundai I30 stopped in the sand after it apparently crossed the wide sidewalk that runs between the beach and a busy road.

Firefighters carry a man on a stretcher after a car drove into the crowded seaside boardwalk along Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photo / AP
Firefighters carry a man on a stretcher after a car drove into the crowded seaside boardwalk along Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photo / AP

Witnesses claim the car was not driving at high speed as traffic in the area was intense.

Several people were knocked down and seen lying on the ground.

Pictures and mobile phone footage posted online show devastating scenes of the area with people lying motionless on the floor.