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Accident kills two at Brazilian World Cup stadium

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATwo building workers died due to the collapsing of a crane at the São Paulo stadium in Brazil on Wednesday. The workers have been identified as Fabio Luiz Pereira and Ronaldo Oliveira dos Santos, from the construction company Odebrecht.

Odebrecht has stated that the accident occurred shortly before 1pm during a routine operation to put the final section of the cover over the north stand. “The crane that hoisted the last module of the structure of the metal roof collapsed causing the fall of the part of the circulation area of the east building,” the company told the www.BBC.co.uk. Odebrecht had also emphasized that the structure of the stadium had not been damaged. Also known as the Arena Corinthians, the stadium is said to be able to seat about 50,000 people and is to be the playing field for six World Cup matches.

Early reports from fire officials said that three had perished at the site of the accident but the Brazilian police have now confirmed a death toll of two. The stadium is in the process of making preparations to host the opening match of the Corinthians, the Brazilian football club that is to move into the new stadium. The Club had made a statement that it “deeply regrets the accident” and said that it would respect seven days of mourning for the victims of the tragedy.

“I’m deeply saddened by the tragic death of workers at the Corinthians arena today. Our heartfelt condolences are with the families,” tweeted Sepp Blatter, Fifa’s President.

An official statement from Fifa also conveyed the message that “safety of workers is top priority for Fifa, the LOC, and the federal government”.

The incident on Wednesday is reported to be the third fatal accident in Brazil’s World Cup stadiums, with the past two years seeing the deaths of two other construction workers.

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