Two lives have been lost and another injured in an accident at a Sao Paulo stadium that is due to host the opening ceremony of the 2014 World Cup football.
A senior local fire official said crews were called to the Arena Corinthians after reports of a collapsed crane. The crane fell on the the stadium, destroying parts of the stands.
Corinthians, the club that will move into the Arena Corinthians stadium where the accident occurred, released a statement that read: “The director (of the club) profoundly lament the accident that occurred at the Arena.
“Because of the accident that occured in work at Arena Corinthians on Wednesday afternoon, Sport Club Corinthians Paulista decreed seven days of mourning,” the statement added.
Meanwhile, a Brazilian reporter covering the stadium accident was assaulted by guards and staff of the construction firm in charge of the Stadium, Oderbrecht, who forced him to erase photos, reports Jack Lang, a football writer and editor.
The construction firm had recently disclosed that about 94% of the arena was ready. The arena was due to be completed at the end of December to meet a FIFA deadline. Brazil has admitted it is struggling to have all 12 venues ready.
“I am deeply saddened by the tragic death of workers @Corinthians arena today. Our heartfelt condolences are with the families,” tweeted FIFA president Sepp Blatter (@SeppBlatter).