A Brazilian woman was shot dead after she accidentally followed her GPS inside an infamous crime-ridden favela. Regina Murmura, a 70-year-old pensioner, and her husband Francisco, 69, were driving from their home city of Rio de Janeiro across the bay to Niteroi when their car was hit by a hail of bullets.

The couple, who had been married for five decades, had used Google-owned navigation app Waze to get to the beachfront Quintino Bocaiúva avenue but had ended up in Quintino Bocaiúva street instead, which lies inside the deprived Caramujo favela.

More than 20 gunshots were fired at them, police said. Francisco Murmura managed to escape unhurt and drove his injured wife to a local hospital where she later died after suffering a heart attack.

He later wrote a distraught Facebook posting saying he was shocked at the brutality used against his loved one who "always sowed peace". "Today is the first day of physical separation and already I'm dying of pain. I miss you. I don't know what it will be without you. Help me," he wrote.

Detectives said they believe members of crime gangs that dominate Caramujo opened fire on the pair, although motives for the attack were not immediately clear.

Waze said they were "incredibly saddened" at the news. "Unfortunately it's hard to prevent drivers from navigating into a dangerous neighbourhood if it's the destination they select," the company added in a statement. "Citizens who reside in those areas need to be able to get home."