Labor court halts work at Brazil World Cup stadium
SAO PAULO (AP) — A labor court on Sunday halted construction in part of the World Cup stadium where a man fell 115 feet (35 meters) to his death while working on a roofing structure in the jungle city of Manaus, further delaying the venue that will host England vs. Italy and three other matches next June.
The decision was announced after public prosecutors requested the immediate interruption of work in all areas where laborers need to be high above the ground. Work will only restart after constructors show that all safety measures are in place at the Arena Amazonia, which will also host United States vs. Portugal.
The Manaus court said constructors will be fined a daily amount if they don’t abide to the decision. The press office for constructor Andrade Gutierrez said the company would not comment until Monday.
Labor officials are expected at the construction site on Monday to evaluate safety conditions, but a local union has already said workers are expected to go on strike to complain about inadequate measures.
Prosecutors said there have been several reports of irregularities related to worker safety at the Arena Amazonia in the past.
Marcleudo de Melo Ferreira, 22, died Saturday after falling while helping install diamond shaped panels to the latticework of steel girders that form part of the stadium roof. Dozens of laborers were balanced on the girders as they worked. When complete, the panels on the roof are meant to resemble snake scales.
“There is a need for a detailed report attesting that the minimum safety requirements for laborers working in heights are in place,” prosecutors said in a statement.
Andrade Gutierrez said the causes of the accident would be investigated but reiterated its commitment to worker safety.
It was the second death at the Arena Amazonia this year and the third at a World Cup venue in less than a month.
A few hours after Saturday’s death, another worker died of a heart attack while paving an area outside the venue in Manaus.
Two workers were killed when a crane collapsed on Nov. 27 as it was hoisting a 500-ton piece of roofing at the Sao Paulo stadium that will host the World Cup opener. Last year, a worker died at the construction site of the stadium in the nation’s capital, Brasilia.
The first death at the Arena da Amazonia happened in March. Another worker died in April at the new Palmeiras stadium, which may be used for teams training in Sao Paulo.
The Arena Amazonia is among the six World Cup stadiums that will not be completed by the end of the year as wanted by FIFA because of construction delays.
Manaus officials want to hold the first test event at the stadium on Jan. 15, with around 10,000 workers who participated in the stadium’s construction serving as spectators.
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