Third worker dies at São Paulo World Cup stadium

A construction worker died at the Arena São Paulo World Cup stadium on Saturday – the third death at the site.

It is the eighth fatality linked to World Cup construction work in Brazil to have occurred during the country’s preparations for the football tournament.

Arena São Paulo, Corinthians, Itaquerão Stadium. Sao Paulo's Corinthians Arena stadium will host the opening match of Brazil's World Cup as planned, says FIFA president. Photo: AFP/Miguel Schincariol.

Three workers have now died at the Arena São Paulo in World Cup construction work. Photo: AFP/Miguel Schincariol.

The worker, named as 23-year-old Fabio Hamilton da Cruz, sustained the fatal injuries after falling from height on Saturday morning while installing the flooring for the stadium’s temporary stands.

Emergency services at the scene reported the man fell around 15 metres. The construction company carrying out the work, Fast Engenharia, said he fell around eight metres, adding that he had been using all appropriate safety gear at the time of the incident.

Mr Cruz was taken to a local hospital for urgent medical intervention but later died of his injuries, the hospital confirmed to local media on Saturday afternoon.

The football team behind the stadium, Corinthians, has announced three days of mourning in connection with the incident.

The construction company that subcontracted Fast Engenharia, WDS Construções, for whom Mr Cruz worked, said it deeply regretted the death and that it was providing assistance to his family.

General Secretary of FIFA, Jérôme Valcke, said on his official Twitter accounts in English and Portuguese that he was “deeply saddened” by the death:

 

Work continues

Despite the incident, Folha de S.Paulo newspaper reported that work continued at the site on Saturday afternoon, with police cordoning off just the area directly associated with the morning’s events.

GloboNews reported that the stadium’s general construction company, Odebrecht, said that work would not be delayed further by the incident.

The stadium – known as the Arena Corinthians or Itaquerão – is far behind schedule and workers are rushing to finish construction of the venue ahead of the World Cup opener on June 12, when Brazil take on Croatia. The stadiums will also hold five other World Cup fixtures.

The 48,000-seater stadium is having approximately 20,000 additional, temporary seats added for the FIFA tournament.

It is not the first death at the São Paulo stadium, nor at the other twelve host city sites.

In November 2013 two workers died at the São Paulo stadium after a crane manoeuvring part of the stadium’s roofing into place collapsed.

Eight people have now died in relation to work at World Cup sites, including one man who died as a result of a heart attack which his family say was brought on by punishing hours at the World Cup site in Manaus.

Saturday’s tragedy comes just days after Valcke said progress at the Arena São Paulo remained a concern, with delays exacerbated by an arguments over who is responsible for paying for temporary facilities to be used only during the World Cup.

Work also continues at stadiums in Curitiba and Cuiabá.

Written for Anadolu Agency

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