Worker dies in Fifa World Cup stadium accident

TALES AZZONI
Last updated 08:29 08/02/2014

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A worker was killed in an accident outside the World Cup stadium in the Brazilian jungle city of Manaus, local organisers said Friday.

Organisers in charge of the city's preparations said the worker died while dismantling a crane that was used to install the roof of the Arena da Amazonia.

It is the third death of a worker in or near the stadium in Manaus.

Eric Gamboa, a spokesman for the local government department organising the World Cup in the city, said the man's name was not being immediately released, but confirmed he worked for Portuguese company Martifer, a multinational focused in metal constructions.

Citing local authorities, Brazilian media said the worker was a 55-year-old man from Portugal. Globo TV and other local media said the worker sustained a head injury when he was hit by a metal bar.

Because of the accident, an inspection visit by the Amazonas state governor at the stadium on Friday was canceled. Gov. Omar Aziz had been expected to announce the date of the venue's inauguration.

Brazil has been under the spotlight because of its problematic World Cup preparations, with the southern host city of Curitiba still in danger of being dropped because of a delay in stadium construction. The country also is making headlines because of fan violence and turmoil in the Brazilian league, which may not start on time because of a series of civil lawsuits against a sports tribunal decision that altered the league's final standings last year.

The Arena da Amazonia is one of the five stadiums still under construction less than five months before the World Cup, although local organisers said construction at the site was nearly 97 percent completed when the accident happened. It will host four World Cup matches next June, including England vs. Italy and the United States vs. Portugal.

Gamboa said Friday's accident was not expected to interfere in the construction of the stadium. The crane had been removed from the venue's main construction area and was at a site across the street.

In December, a worker at the Arena da Amazonia died after falling 115 feet (35 meters) while working on the stadium roof. Another worker died there in March after falling from a scaffold and hitting his head.

In late November, two workers were killed when a crane collapsed while hoisting a 500-ton piece of roofing at the stadium that will host the World Cup opener in Sao Paulo. In 2012, a worker died at the construction site of the stadium in the nation's capital, Brasilia.

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- AP

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