- POSTED: 15 Dec 2013 00:52
- UPDATED: 15 Dec 2013 02:58
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A construction worker died on Saturday in an accident at the Manaus Arena World Cup stadium in Brazil, dealing another blow to preparations for next year's football extravaganza.
RIO DE JANEIRO: A construction worker died on Saturday in an accident at the Manaus Arena World Cup stadium in Brazil, dealing another blow to preparations for next year's football extravaganza.
The accident will add further scrutiny to safety measures in the race to be ready for the event, coming barely two weeks after two people died at the venue in Sao Paulo which is scheduled to host the June 12 opening match between Brazil and Croatia.
Officials say the Sao Paulo stadium will only be ready in mid-April.
Saturday's death was also the second fatality to hit the Manaus venue, which will host England's opening match on June 15 against Italy, plus three other World Cup matches. A 49-year-old worker died there last May.
A further accident came at the new stadium in the capital Brasilia last year.
Manaus is the capital of the Amazonia region, far north of Sao Paulo and Brasilia. The city was a controversial choice for a new multimillion-dollar stadium, not least because there is no top club in the area to attract fans after the 2014 event.
In September, one local official suggested the venue might even be turned into a processing center for prisoners.
Officials named Saturday's victim as 22-year-old Marcleudo de Melo Ferreira, who died in the early hours after falling 35 meters (115 feet) from the US$200 million, 42,000-capacity stadium's roof.
Brazilian media reported that he fell after a cable broke as he prepared to finish a night shift at the venue, which is running behind schedule.
FIFA, which has played down concerns over stadium delays, expressed its sadness at the latest fatality.
"We would like to send our most sincere condolences to his family, relatives, colleagues and friends," football's governing body said in a statement.
Construction firm Andrade Gutierrez said an investigation would open immediately.
"We reiterate our commitment to (ensuring the) security of everyone working at the site," the company said in a statement, noting that work had been halted as a mark of respect to the dead man.
"We deeply regret the accident," added the company, which is offering its fullest assistance to the victim's family.
A spokesman added that the dead man had been working for a company subcontracted to build the venue's overhead covering.
Only last Tuesday, Manaus coordinator Miguel Capobiango Neto had assured reporters the venue would be ready for December 20 in time for an inauguration on January 15.