RIO DE JANEIRO: Another World Cup construction worker has been killed in a site accident – at the Arena da Amazonia in Manaus which Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff is due to open formally next weekend writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Six deaths have been recorded thus far across the 12-stadium World Cup project and this latest incident was the third in Manaus. Two deaths occurred at the Arena Corinthians in Sao Paulo and one at the Estadio Nacional/Mane Garrincha in Brasilia.
The victim was a 55-year-old Portuguese immigrant whose name was released as José Antonio Pita Martins. He was fatally injured when a section of crane collapsed on him as it was dismantled at the Sambadrome adjacent to the stadium. Two other men were injured.
Martins, who was pronounced dead after being taken to the Joao Lucio hospital by ambulance, worked for the Portuguese company Martifer which had been hired by the construction company Andrade Gutierrez to manufacture and install the stadium roof.
State governor Omar Aziz was due to make an official inspection visit to the arena later in the morning but the appointment was cancelled.
On March 28 Raimundo Nonato Lima Costa, 49, died after falling from a ledge in the stadium; another fatal fall, on December 14, killed 22-year-old Marcleudo de Melo Ferreira.
A third death in preparations at Manaus also occurred on December 14 when 50-year-old José Antonio Nascimento Souza died of a heart failure while working on redevelopment of the neighbouring convention centre which also forms part of the World Cup infrastructure.
Jerome Valcke, the FIFA secretary-general who is in charge of World Cup preparations for the governing body, sent a message of regret.
He said, via Twitter: FIFA deeply regret the death of the worker who was disassembling a crane used in the construction of the roof of the Arena Amazonia . . . with great sadness we send our sincere condolences to the family, on behalf of both FIFA and the Local Organising Committee.”
At one stage in the preparations FIFA was concerned the most about delays in Manaus. Now the stadum is reported “97pc ready” and the focus of concern has switched to Curitiba.
The 12 stadia for the World Cup are costing $3.4bn, one of the sums which provoked the street demonstrations last summer during the Confederations Cup when protesters complaining at an imbalance being spending on the World Cup and Rio 2016 Olympics compared with the outlay on education and social welfare.