Safety fears threaten to halt São Paulo’s World Cup stadium – again

16 May 2014

Public prosecutors have recommended that work on the Itaquerao Stadium in São Paulo should be halted while the threat it posed to workers’ safety is assessed.

The concerns centre on the area of the site where 20,000 temporary seats are being installed. Labour officials stopped construction at Itaquerao this year after a worker died while installing the seats. Late last year, two workers died after a crane collapsed while hoisting a huge roofing structure.

It is understood that doubts had been raised about the safety of the job weeks ago but that these were not responded to. Fast Engenharia, the company in charge of the seating, said work could not be stopped, and that there were only minor issues that could be finished quickly. It added that it had not been notified about any problems.

The prosecutors have sent a report to the labour ministry, which will decide whether to halt construction.

Sao Paulo’s Itaquerao stadium after a crane collapse killed two people on November 27. The stadium will host the opening match of the World Cup (Miguel Schincariol/AFP/Getty Images)

If nothing is done we can order a work stoppage– Roberto Pinheiro Pinto, public prosecutor’s office

The stadium will host the opening game of the World Cup finals: Brazil v Croatia on 12 June. The builders  have acknowledged the stadium’s roof will not be fully finished for the World Cup, but add that will have no impact on fans and the games. Earlier this month, a worker at the Arena Pantanal stadium in Cuiabá became the eighth worker to die during World Cup construction. He suffered a heart attack after receiving an electric shock.

Brazil’s World Cup campaign has already been steeped in controversy, with FIFA president Sepp Blatter citing lateness, "slavery" claims and two previous deaths at the Itaquerao Stadium. 

Anti-World Cup protests have taken place across 12 cities in Brazil this week and outside the stadium while the the inspection was taking place.

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  1. Apparently only 10% of construction work is complete.

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