A highway overpass under construction in the World Cup host city of Belo Horizonte, Brazil, collapsed on Thursday, killing at least two people, according to The Guardian. Health officials in Minas Gerais state confirmed to Reuters that two were confirmed dead, and at least 20 were injured. The overpass was located about two miles from a stadium where World Cup games were being played.
The work was not directly related to World Cup play, but was instead a part of a larger upgrade of Brazil’s infrastructure ahead of the World Cup. According to the Wall Street Journal, the construction on the fallen overpass, like much of the planned World Cup infrastructure improvement, had fallen behind. And according to the L.A. Times, at least eight people have died working on stadiums where World Cup games have been played.
Driver Maria Nilza told Brazil’s G1 website (translated from Portuguese and reported in The Daily Mail:
“The bus shook like a fabric and fell on a bus and car right in front of me.”
A British tourist in Brazil for the World Cup, known as MUnitedGirl, posted the following tweet shortly after the overpass collapsed:
Despite the pageantry and excitement associated with the World Cup Tournament, and the magnificent TV ratings in the U.S. (according to the N.Y. Post), Brazil’s hosting of the World Cup has not been without its problems. Suraj Patel, writing for the Huffington Post, says:
“Several taxi drivers I spoke with privately hoped that Brazil would lose in the Cup so that people would not forget the widespread corruption that went into Brazil’s hosting of the World Cup. Without a doubt, spending less on opulent stadiums and more on mass transit or crime reduction would have benefited the Brazilian population much more so and taken very little away from the quality of event for attendees.”
Related: FIFA Outrages Local World Cup Vendors (Inquisitr)
Crime, corruption, drugs, and extreme poverty persist in Brazil despite the World Cup. While some commentators expected the Cup to be marred by riots and violence, the actual tournament has, as of this post, gone off with minimal disruption. Says Brazilian blogger Mauricio Savaraese:
“Although there was a lot of discontent with governance at all levels and clear engagement of some parts of society against football’s extravaganza, I noticed many Brazilians were critical basically because they were afraid of something going wrong during the World Cup. Once those predictions didn’t confirm, they gladly jumped in the bandwagon. After all, the demonstrations were against everything wrong in Brazil, not specifically the World Cup.”
Now that the U.S.A. is out of the World Cup, which team are you supporting? Let us know in the comments.
[Image source: abc.net.au]