Thursday, November 28, 2013
World Stadium Collapses: Kills 2 At Sao Paulo Brazil.
Preparations for next year’s World Cup finals have been rocked by tragedy after a huge crane fell and crashed into the roof of the stadium scheduled to host the opening game.
Two were killed at Sao Paulo’s Corinthians Arena and at least one other injured
Early reports from Brazil claimed there would have been more casualties had the accident not happened at lunchtime when many workers were on a break.
Corinthians confirmed the deaths on their website, in a joint statement with the constructors.
The statement said: 'Odebrecht Infrastructure and Sport Club Corinthians Paulista regret to inform you that in early afternoon an accident during work at Arena Corinthians caused the death of two workers - Fabio Luiz Pereira, 42, driver/operator of the company BHM Munck, and Ronaldo Oliveira dos Santos, 44, builder from the company Conecta.
'Shortly before 1300, the crane that hoisted the last part of the structure of the metal roof of the stadium collapsed.'
A large crack was apparent in pictures of one of the stands that already had its roof fitted. However the joint statement added: 'The structure of the grandstand was not compromised.
It was the 38th time this type of procedure had been performed during the work.
It is the latest in a series of problems relating to building projects for next year’s World Cup and just days before FIFA bosses and representatives of the 32 teams set to contest the finals descend for next week’s draw in the city of Salvador.
In a statement, FIFA said: 'The safety of workers is the top priority for FIFA, the LOC, the federal government.
We know the safety of all workers has always been paramount for all the construction companies contracted to build the 12 FIFA World Cup stadiums.
The local authorities will fully investigate the reasons behind such a tragic accident.'
FIFA president Sepp Blatter added on Twitter: ‘I’m deeply saddened by the tragic death of workers @Corinthians arena today. Our heartfelt condolences are with the families.’
There was no clear indication from the World Cup organisers about how the incident might impact on the tournament but pictures of the crumpled wreckage of the crane and the stand it crashed into suggested major damage has been done to the brand new stadium.
‘It is impossible to make any forecasts at this moment,’ said Ricardo Trade, executive director of the local organising committee. ‘What we know is what the images are showing, that part of the structure fell down.’
Brazilian construction company Odebrecht SA confirmed the fatalities but declined to comment further.
The arena in Sao Paulo’s Itaquera district, in the east of the city, is planned to have a capacity of more than 65,000, which includes 20,000 temporary seats.
It was supposed to be completed in time for the FIFA Confederations Cup tournament last summer but has been delayed by funding complications.
Costs trebled after authorities decided it would host the opening game of the tournament, which in turn increased demands for more space, better facilities and corporate facilities.
The crane was said to be lifting a large piece of roofing into place when the earth slipped beneath the construction vehicle and it toppled over.
Nearly complete: The Itaquerao Stadium as it looked last week
It was said to be ‘94 per cent complete’ and had been expected to meet FIFA’s new deadline for all the venues to be ready by the end of this year. This would now appear impossible.
Many of Brazil’s new-build arenas have been delivered late, including the showpiece Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, which will host the final.
It reset its deadline several times before it was finally declared ready days before England played there in a friendly against Brazil in June and the Confederations Cup which followed.
Six stadiums remain unfinished and there are genuine concerns that those in the remote cities of Manaus and Cuiaba will not meet the end-of-year deadline.
One worker was killed earlier this year on the site of the new Palmeiras stadium, also in Sao Paulo, and several fans were injured when a fence collapsed a week after Gremio opened their new stadium in the southern city of Porto Alegre, in January.
Rio’s Engenhao Stadium, built for the Pan-American Games in 2007 and renamed in honour of former FIFA president Joao Havelange, was closed after engineers warned the roof was in danger of collapse and needs 18 months of urgent repairs.