Three workers killed in construction accident at World Cup venue

An Aug. 19 view of the construction at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
An Aug. 19 view of the construction at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
(Andre Penner / Associated Press)

Authorities in Brazil say at least three workers were killed Wednesday in a partial collapse at the stadium scheduled to host the opening match of next summer’s World Cup.

Part of the grandstand was destroyed when a metal structure buckled at the top of the planned 65,000-seat Itaquerao Arena in San Paulo. According to local media reports, the accident was caused by a crane collapse.

A fire department spokesman, Mauro Lopes, confirmed the casualities to a radio station and said the death toll from the lunchtime accident could rise. Early reports said a fourth person was reportedly trapped in the wreckage.


[Update at 12:47 p.m.: The death toll has beed reduced to two.]

The stadium owner, Sport Club Corinthians, issued a two-sentence statement in which it said it regretted the accident.

Delays in construction and infrastructure repairs have plagued preparations for next summer’s tournament and Wednesday’s accident could further delay work on Itaquerao, which tournament organizers had said would be finished by December.

Two days ago the BBC reported that many stadium projects are hopelessly behind schedule and won’t be completed by the year-end deadline set by FIFA, global soccer’s governing body.

Last month the 43,000-seat Pantanal Arena in the central-west city of Cuiaba caught fire during construction. Pantanal is the scheduled site of four group-play matches.


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