Brazil World Cup worker electrocuted at Arena Pantanal, Cuiabá

Anadolu Agency

SÃO PAULO – A worker at the Arena Pantanal World Cup stadium in Brazil has died after being electrocuted, a government official said on Thursday.

The man, named as 32-year-old Muhammad-Ali Maciel Afonso, worked for Etel Engenharia, a company enlisted to install a telecommunications network in the stadium in Cuiabá, capital of the central-western state of Mato Grosso.

Afonso sustained an electric shock while assisting with the installation of the network and died at the site after suffering a cardiac arrest, despite the best efforts of medical teams.

The government said he was using appropriate safety equipment at the time.

Construction at the site has been temporarily halted. The arena is among the three most-delayed stadiums of the 12 hosting the tournament, along with São Paulo and Curitiba.

His is the ninth death in Brazil associated with stadiums being prepared for the key football (soccer) tournament: eight deaths have now occurred in accidents at World Cup sites and another worker died, in Manaus, after a heart attack his family say was brought on by overworking.

The telecommunications systems, which boost mobile phone coverage and provide wireless Internet access for fans and the media, have been a source of contention at a number of stadiums.

Companies responsible for them say they should have been installed 90 days before use in order to allow for appropriate testing to be carried out. Many have been given around half that time.

The Arena Pantanal, named after the globally recognised wetlands located nearby, is set to host four World Cup matches, beginning with Chile vs. Australia on 13 June.

The tournament begins a day earlier in São Paulo on 12 June, when Brazil take on Croatia for the opening match.

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