By William Jones, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – A worker has died and another escaped serious injured after an accident on the construction of Rio’s new Line 4 Metro (subway) in Rio. According to the consortium responsible for the expansion of the Metro system, the incident occurred at around 10AM on Friday (May 30th) in the area of Rua Gastao Baiana in Copacabana during work to maintain the new underground network.
After the accident the worker arrived at São Lucas Hospital alive but later succumbed to his injuries according to reports. Another worker escaped after suffering heavy bruising but the damage was not life threatening.
The civil police have subsequently opened an investigation to find out the circumstances of the accident where workers and managers of the project will be called to testify. According to early reports the police believe the accident was caused by the rupture of an air conditioning duct which caused a block of rock to fall into the machine chamber.
Gilberto Ribeiro, a delegate from the construction company told O Globo that he believed that the duct had just undergone maintenance. “We cannot yet establish if there was a specific failure,” he said. Adding: “They (workers) were doing maintenance of a duct when another one near where they were snapped.”
The Line 4 was recently suspended in Ipanema due to structural integrity concerns. Once complete it will run for ten miles (16km) between Zona Sul (South Zone) and Barra da Tijuca – home of the 2016 Olympics; work was initially expected to finish in December 2015, and the line open to the public in June 2016, two months before the start of the Games.
Construction of this line started in June 2010, and once opened though the line will carry over 300,000 people a day and take some 2,000 vehicles off busy roads at peak times. However by 2012 it was announced the construction cost for Line 4, will amount to R$8.5 billion (US$4 billion), seventy percent more than the R$5 billion (US$2.4 billion) first estimated.
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