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A metal structure atop the Corinthians Arena is seen after a collapse Wednesday in Sao Paulo. The stadium is slated to host the 2014 World Cup opener.

Workers Killed In Collapse At Brazilian World Cup Stadium

By Bill Chappell NPR

A large portion of a nearly completed soccer stadium has collapsed in Sao Paulo, Brazil, killing at least two people and injuring others. A crane that was installing a large metal structure apparently buckled at the Corinthians Arena, which is slated to host the opening game of the 2014 World Cup.

NPR’s Lourdes Garcia-Navarro filed this report for our Newscast unit:

“The workers were putting the final 500-ton piece of the stadium roof on when the accident happened. A giant crane that was lifting the section tipped over crushing the workers. Work has stopped and local reports say it won’t resume for at least a month.

“It’s the latest setback in the run-up to soccer’s biggest tournament. There have been massive budget overruns, delays and allegations of shoddy work at many of the stadiums being built or renovated. Over the summer, violent protests broke out in Brazil, with many demonstrators decrying the cost of holding the World Cup.”

Citing firefighter official Mauro Lopes, The Associated Press earlier said that “at least three people died in the accident.” (Update at 7 p.m. ET: Officials and other media have clarified that two workers, not three, lost their lives.) The crane had been putting the final section of the stadium’s structure into place, according to the AP.

In a statement expressing “heartfelt condolences” to the workers’ families, FIFA, soccer’s international governing organization, says local and national officials will carry out an investigation into the cause of the collapse.

“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,” FIFA’s statement reads.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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