Brazil stadium death may force delay

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The fatal accident at a Brazilian World Cup stadium could mean it misses a December 31 deadline for completion, authorities say.

苏州美甲

Two workers died after a crane toppled at Sao Paulo’s Itaquerao Stadium on Wednesday, the venue for the opening match of the 2014 World Cup finals.

Football’s world governing body FIFA has said all along all 12 arenas hosting games for the first World Cup to be held in Brazil since 1950 must be ready by the end of the year.

And although lead contractor Odebrecht insisted on Wednesday the accident had not “compromised” the stadium’s structural integrity, others insisted safety now had to come before deadlines.

Andres Sanchez, former chairman of Corinthians club, which owns the stadium, said the work could now face a delay.

“I don’t want to know about (FIFA), or anything else,” Sanchez said.

“We are worried about the families” of the victims, said Sanchez in response to reporters’ questions on whether the works completion calendar would be affected.

An AFP photographer at the scene saw the extent of the damage after a crane hoisting a 500-tonne metallic piece to the top of the roof collapsed on part of the stand and a huge LED panel.

Civil defence officials said work on 30 per cent of the site would be stopped, throwing the completion date into doubt at a site which Odebrecht said earlier this month was 94 per cent complete.

The Sao Paulo state prosecutor opened an investigation which it prefaced by saying work would be halted “if technical elements indicate it is necessary to suspend them”.

FIFA has said maintained the December 31 World Cup deadline is non-negotiable.

The Sintrapav construction workers union called for an immediate halt to work pending the outcome of the investigation.

“This is the third accident in the past few months things have gone too far. It cannot be tolerated,” union chairman Antonio Bekeredjian told AFP.

In June 2012 a 21-year-old stadium worker fell to his death at the new arena in the capital Brasilia and last March another death occurred at the Amazonas Arena in Manaus in the north.

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