Death, strike add to Brazil's troubled World Cup buildup

Sat Dec 14, 2013 9:19pm EST
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By Mike Collett

CURITIBA, Brazil (Reuters) - Brazil's troubled buildup to the 2014 World Cup continued on Saturday after a construction worker fell to his death from the roof of the Arena Amazonia in Manaus and officials moved to downplay a strike of 300 workers at the stadium in Curitiba.

In another incident in Manaus, the death of a second worker, Jose Antonio da Silva Nascimento, was reported by Brazilian state television after his body was found in a convention center close to the stadium.

Earlier on Saturday, 22-year-old Marcleudo de Melo Ferreira became the third stadium worker to die since last month when two men were killed after a crane collapsed onto the roof of the Corinthians Arena in Sao Paulo.

In all, five workers have died on stadiums being built for next year's soccer showpiece while a sixth was killed working on the Palmeiras arena in Sao Paulo, which will not be used to host World Cup matches but could serve as an official training base.

De Melo Ferreira died in hospital in the early hours of Saturday after a cable snapped and sent him falling 35 meters (115 feet) from the roof of the 605 million Brazilian reais ($262 million) Arena Amazonia, where work has been stepped up to 20 hours a day to ensure it does not slip any further behind schedule.

It is due to be ready by January 15.

Statements issued by FIFA and Andrade Gutierrez, the construction company which employed De Melo Ferreira, expressed regret and an investigation into his death has begun.

Miguel Capobiango, the co-ordinator for UGP Copa, the umbrella co-ordination organization for all World Cup projects in Manaus, told Reuters on a site visit last Wednesday that construction time on the stadium had been increased and workers were now operating in three shifts for all but four hours a day.   Continued...

The Arena Amazonia stadium is under construction to host several 2014 World Cup soccer games, in Manaus December 14, 2013. Construction worker Marcleudo de Melo Ferreira fell to his death from the roof earlier in the day after a cable broke, adding to safety concerns as the country races to finish building in time to host the 2014 World Cup of soccer. REUTERS/Bruno Kelly