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3rd Worker Killed at World Cup Site

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

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A worker dismantling a crane at a World Cup stadium project in Brazil was killed Friday (Feb. 7)—the third worker fatality at the site in less than a year.

A threatened work stoppage Monday (Feb. 10) loomed over the project as it neared its June deadline.

News of the fatality cast yet another layer of doubt on working conditions at the projects, which have claimed six workers' lives. The country is racing to complete the remaining venues before the first ball is kicked June 12.

Crane Accident

Antonio Jose Pita Martins, a 55-year-old Portuguese worker at the Arena da Amazonia in Manaus, was injured early Friday when part of a crane that was being dismantled fell and struck him on the head, reports said, citing construction officials. The crane was used to install the roof of the stadium.

Arena da Amazonia
Government of Amazonas / CNN

Antonio Jose Pita Martins was the third worker to perish in the rush to finish the Arena da Amazonia in Manaus, Amazonas. Officials say the project is 97 percent complete.

Martins was transported to a local hospital, where he died from his injuries, reports said.

Investigation Launched

Officials said the accident was being investigated.

Martins worked for Martifer Metallic Constructions, a multinational company in charge of supplying and assembling the structural steelwork, structural bearing, and the façade and roof cladding on the stadium. The general contractor for the project is Andrade Gutierrez.

The companies did not respond Monday (Feb. 10) to requests for comment. However, FIFA and the local World Cup organizing committee told reporters they "deeply regret the death of the worker."

Site Visit Postponed

The Amazonas state Gov. Omar Aziz had been scheduled to visit the stadium Friday; however, his visit was canceled because of the accident, reports related.

Construction officials and organizers told members of the media that the accident would not hamper construction of the Arena da Amazonia—which was said to be 97 percent complete.

construction
Martifer

Martins worked for Martifer Metallic Constructions, a multinational company in charge of supplying and assembling the structural steelwork, structural bearing, and the façade and roof cladding on the stadium.

Work on the World Cup 2014 stadiums has been heavily scrutinized due to a variety of issues, including labor problems, construction delays and corruption, according to reports.

Five of the 12 stadiums have yet to be completed, with the showcase event just five months away.

Strike Threatened

A local union leader reportedly told Brazilian media Saturday (Feb. 8) that work on the Arena da Amazonia would be halted Monday, as workers there have threatened to strike following the accident.

"We have to guarantee the workers' rights and their safety," union leader Cicero Custodio said, according to the Associated Press. "Nobody will get in on Monday."

News reports Monday morning did not confirm whether a strike occurred.

Previous Deaths

Martins’ death follows two others at the Arena da Amazonia in less than a year.

In December, 22-year-old Marcleudo de Melo Ferreira plummeted 115 feet to his death, when a cable broke as he prepared for a night shift on the roof of the stadium.

Another worker died there in March after falling from a scaffold and hitting his head.

Three other worker deaths have also occurred on the stadium projects.

Arena Corinthians
George ge Ahammadhu / Twitter

Two workers were killed Nov. 27 when a crane collapsed at the Arena Corinthians in Sao Paulo.

A crane collapse killed two workers at the nearly completed Arena Corinthians in Sao Paulo in late November.

The crane had been hoisting a 420-ton metal roofing module—the last of 38 modules for the roof—when it fell onto the stadium. About 1,350 workers were on site at the time, officials said. That accident remains under investigation.

Also, in 2012, a worker died at the construction site of the National Stadium in the capital, Brasilia.

The Manaus stadium is scheduled to host four World Cup matches, beginning with England vs. Italy on June 14. It will also host the United States vs. Portugal on June 22.

   

Tagged categories: Accidents; Cranes; Fatalities; Good Technical Practice; Latin America; Metal cladding; Roofing materials; Stadiums/Sports Facilities

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