Brazilian authorities say the initial investigation into the accident that killed a worker at the stadium that will host the World Cup opener in a few months showed he likely wasn’t wearing a required safety cable.
The worker died on Saturday after falling about 26 feet (8 meters) while helping install temporary seats at the Itaquerao stadium, marking the seventh death in accidents at World Cup venues in Brazil.
The police official in charge of investigating the accident said initial witness accounts showed worker Fabio Hamilton da Cruz was not connected to his safety cable because he only had a “quick thing” to finish at the site.
“The informal hearings that I made with employees who were next to the victim at the time of the fall show that he neglected to use the security equipment,” Inspector Rafael Pavarina told The Associated Press’ partner agency SNTV. “`By the time he broke free of the safety cable, he was alerted by his colleagues, ‘Connect yourself to the safety cable,’ and he replied ‘It’s a quick thing.”‘
The 23-year-old worker sustained multiple traumas and severe head injuries. He was pronounced dead just before he was expected to undergo surgery.
Construction company Fast Engenharia, in charge of the installation of the temporary seats, said in statements released after the accident that the worker was “trained” and “carried all the required safety equipment” for his work.
“It seems that it was not a lack of equipment,” Pavarina said. “Apparently he was a victim of his own negligence.”
FIFA and local World Cup organizers lamented the death said they will wait for results of the accident’s investigation.
It was the third workers’ death at the Itaquerao stadium, which will open the World Cup on June 12. Two men died late last year when a crane collapsed while hoisting a 500-ton roofing structure.
Seven workers have died in accidents at construction sites of World Cup venues so far.
Brazilian club Corinthians, which owns the stadium, declared a three-day mourning period but didn’t stop construction at the site. Work was halted in the area where the accident happened but continued in the rest of the stadium, which is one of the most delayed among the 12 World Cup venues.
FIFA said before Saturday’s accident that it was expecting the venue to be finished in mid-May, about a month before the opener. Local organizers said the current timetable was not expected to change because of the worker’s death.
About 20,000 temporary seats are being added to the new stadium to increase its capacity to nearly 70,000 for the high-profile inaugural match between host Brazil and Croatia.
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