Rio organisers under fire after worker killed during disassembly

A Brazilian construction worker has died and another has lost a leg during the disassembly of the Rio Olympics’ sporting venues.

Reuters Brazil reported an anonymous source who said the tragedies had occurred in separate incidents, and blamed them indirectly on the dismissal of more than 100 safety inspectors.

The source said: "The Olympics were a success, but for the future, I fear it may end in tragedy. I fear that more accidents will occur."

They added that the Rio 2016 organisation had delayed payment to suppliers and service providers, and that this had caused some companies to employ less-than-qualified individuals and use cheaper equipment.

The Rio 2016 Organising Committee has confirmed that both accidents did occur, with one worker being electrocuted at the Olympic park in Barra da Tijuca, and another having a leg amputated after an incident occurred during the disassembly of the beach volleyball arena in Copacabana.

It added that the responsibility for these accidents lay with the companies hired to carry out the work.

Mario Andrada, the Rio 2016 communications director, said: "We had no control over these events. They were at our facilities but the two accidents were outsourced operations. The fault is not ours, it is of those who hire employees."

This explanation drew criticism from the Brazilian government. Vivian Mattos, a lawyer for Brazil’s Ministry of Public Works told Reuters that the committee could not avoid responsibility for having outsourced services. She said: "When you contract a third party, you have to monitor and stay tuned to see if they are complying with the law."

Image: Sports arenas at the Barra da Tijuca Olympic Park (André Motta/Creative Commons)

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