Brazil Stadium Collapse Kills Three, Puts World Cup Timing In Jeopardy

A Brazil stadium collapse killed three workers when the venue being built to host the 2014 World Cup opener buckled and sent metal crashing into the stands.

The collapse caused significant damage to the stadium, and could cause Brazil to miss the December deadline set by FIFA to have all 12 venues for the games ready.

After the accident all work on Itaquerao Stadium was halted, the latest setback for work that has already been put behind schedule. The stadium was originally slated to be finished in time for the Confederations Cup this year, but financing delays put it off schedule.

Firefighter official Mauro Lopes said the Brazil stadium collapse happened when a crane that was the installing the final part of the structure collapsed. The accident happened midday when most of the workers were out to lunch, but Lopes said at least three people were killed.

Itaquerao Stadium will seat close to 70,000 people when completed and is set to host the opener on June 12 along with five other matches.

Brazilian club Corinthians, the entity that owns the stadium, released a statement lamenting the incident and vowing to investigate how it happened.

FIFA also released a statement on the Brazil stadium collapse ensuring that worker safety was a top priority.

“We know the safety of all workers has always been paramount for all the construction companies contracted to build the 12 FIFA World Cup stadiums,” the soccer governing body said in a statement. “The local authorities will fully investigate the reasons behind such a tragic accident.”

The Brazil stadium collapse is not the only event that has thrown uncertainty into next year’s World Cup tournament. The country has also experienced widespread protests at FIFA and the construction of stadium, with protesters taking aim at Brazil for ignoring the nation’s poor while building large and expensive stadiums.