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Brazil Bridge Collapses, Kills 2

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

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Two people have been killed and at least 22 injured in Brazil in the collapse of an overpass under construction onto a busy roadway.

The overpass, one of many delayed infrastructure projects related to the 2014 World Cup, was being built in Belo Horizonte, a host city for the event.

Brazil overpass collapse
Twitter / Estado de Minas

An overpass under construction related to the World Cup in Brazil collapsed Thursday, killing two and injuring 22.

A commuter bus, two construction trucks and a car were trapped in the collapse, city officials reported late Thursday, according to media reports. The victims included the woman driving the commuter bus and a man trapped in the crushed car, reported.

Capt. Federico Pascual of the Belo Horizonte fire department said many of the injured were construction workers, the New York Daily News reported.

The cause of the collapse is under investigation.

Promised Projects Delayed

The overpass is about three miles from the Mineirao Stadium, which has held several World Cup games and is to host a semifinal match today (July 8).

This video shows the collapsing overpass, which runs over a major roadway connecting a World Cup stadium with the international airport.

The overpass, which runs over a major roadway connecting the stadium with the international airport, was an infrastructure improvement project that was supposed to have been completed before the World Cup, according to media reports. It was being built to carry an express bus service through the city.

Brazil was awarded the World Cup in 2007, after which politicians promised to spend $8 billion on 56 infrastructure projects, according to the Associated Press. However, not even 10 of these projects were completed in time, including this overpass, the AP said.

The overpass collapse is not the first fatal incident related to World Cup preparations. Eight workers have already died during various construction activities leading up to the event.

Company, President Respond

The cause of the collapse has not been determined, and no workers were believed to have been on the overpass at the time, Reuters reported.

A fire department spokesperson told the Agence France Presse that the overpass was in its final stages of construction and scaffolding was being removed when the incident happened.

Twitter / Estado de Minas

The collapse crushed a commuter bus, two construction trucks and one car.

The company hired to build the overpass, Construtora Cowan SA, said it has hired a technical staff to investigate the cause and expects results within 30 days, according to its website.

The company said it "deeply regrets what happened to the overpass" and its "priority is to support the victims and their families."

Cowan added that throughout construction "all procedures and materials used have passed the required tests and meet the standards, without presenting any problems."

According to Reuters, President Dilma Rousseff took to Twitter to offer government assistance to local authorities.

"In this moment of pain, I offer my solidarity to the families of the victims," Rousseff said.


Tagged categories: Bridges; Construction; Fatalities; Infrastructure; Transportation

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