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Crane collapse in stadium for opening match of 2014 World Cup kills two workers

Thursday, November 28th 2013 - 10:41 UTC
Full article 8 comments
The accident could have been much more deadly had it not happened during a lunch break, when most of the 1,600 workers were off site. The accident could have been much more deadly had it not happened during a lunch break, when most of the 1,600 workers were off site.
Fifa president Blatter said he was “deeply saddened by the tragic deaths”. Fifa president Blatter said he was “deeply saddened by the tragic deaths”.

Two people died in an accident at Sao Paulo's stadium, which is due to host the opening ceremony of the 2014 World Cup finals, police say. A senior local fire official said crews were called Wednesday midday to the Arena Corinthians after reports of a collapsed crane. It fell on top of a metal structure, destroying part of a facade.

 The Arena was due to be completed at the end of December to meet a Fifa deadline. Brazil has admitted it is struggling to have all 12 venues ready.

Brazilian police said two people had been killed in Wednesday's accident, after earlier reports quoted fire officials as saying that three had died. The crane operator was taken to hospital, but was later released.

The accident could have been much more deadly had it not happened during a lunch break, when most of the 1,600 workers were off site.

Odebrecht Infrastructure, the company building the stadium said the accident happened shortly before 13:00 local time.

“The crane that hoisted the last module of the structure of the metal roof collapsed causing the fall of the part of the circulation area of the east building”.

A LED panel outside the venue was also hit. But the company stressed that the structure of the stadium was not damaged. TV footage later showed the huge metal structure buckled on top of the stadium, which is also known as Itaquerao.

Corinthians, the club that will move into the new stadium, said in a short statement that it “deeply regrets the accident”.

Sepp Blatter, president of Fifa - football's world governing body - said he was “deeply saddened by the tragic deaths”.

Fifa Secretary General Jerome Valcke said: “Extremely shocked by the news from Sao Paulo. Our thoughts are with the families of the victims of this accident.”

In a statement, the world football governing body added that “the safety of workers is the top priority for Fifa” and Brazil's government.

The venue is being built by Brazil's Odebrecht company, which recently said the arena was about 94% ready. The stadium is expected to seat nearly 50,000 people. However, 20,000 temporary seats are to be added for the World Cup opening match due to a Fifa request.

This is the third fatal accident in World Cup stadiums in Brazil, with two other construction workers killed over the past two years.

Six of Brazil's stadiums - including Itaquerao - are not yet ready for the World Cup next summer. Construction problems and public protests about the money being spent have delayed the preparations.

On Tuesday, Danny Jordaan, who was behind South Africa's preparations for the 2010 World Cup, said Brazil might have to start round-the-clock construction work if it was to get things ready for the tournament.

Delays surrounding the World Cup have extended well beyond stadiums. Numerous public transportation projects have been canceled or shelved, and workers have toiled 24 hours a day, seven days a week to finish a new terminal at Sao Paulo's international airport on time.

The accident also casts further scrutiny on Brazil's building standards after deaths and injuries in construction projectsr. One stadium also faces an 18-month closure to repair flaws in the roof.

The Itaquerão stadium, on the gritty east side of Sao Paulo, was originally budgeted at 350 million Reais (152.2 million dollars) but that shot up to over 1 billion Reais after local authorities decided to hold the prestigious opening match there.

Categories: Brazil, Entertainment.

Top Comments

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  • Briton

    more cowboy builders,

    still,
    repairs will be made, and some poor sods have to sit their...

    Nov 28th, 2013 - 01:27 pm 0
  • Conqueror

    Yet another reason not to go to Brazil. Here are potential reasons. 1. Normally, Brazil has a massive crime rate. This will see a massive increase as Brazilian crims pick on “visitors”. 2. There will be many argies in the country. 3. Normally, Brazil has the highest rate of murders in the world. This will see a massive increase as Brazilian crims target “visitors”. 4. There will be many argies, known for being totally lawless, in the country. Most “accommodation” will be substandard. The various features to be avoided are as follows: Rooms, food, water, public transport, stores, streets, people and argies. 5. Air transport WILL be problematical and it may be best to travel to Guyana and then walk. 6. IF you can get to the country, IF you can survive on your way to the stadium, it may fall on you. There is no way that a guarantee can be given as to WHEN the stadium will collapse. It might be a minute after kick-off. Wouldn't that be a waste of money?

    Nov 28th, 2013 - 03:10 pm 0
  • ChrisR

    Easily avoidable tragedy caused by reckless site engineers failing to take adequate corrective action for the rain soaked standing where the crane was to be located.

    Also, on one photograph, the angle of the main spar was too low and could have contributed to the instability, even though there were rear braces behind the cab.

    This thing was reported as rated at 500 tonnes and that is what the standing should have been capable of supporting: it clearly was not as the actual load was nothing like 500 tonnes.

    Nov 28th, 2013 - 03:45 pm 0
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