By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – A worker was killed yesterday afternoon at the Arena Amazônia World Cup stadium site in Manaus. Antônio José Pita Martins, 55, was helping to dismantle a crane when part of the machine fell onto his head.
He was rushed to a local hospital for emergency surgery but died later from his injuries. Mr. Martins is the fourth worker to die at the Manaus site in eleven months.
Marcleudo de Melo Ferreira, 22, fell 35 meters to his death on December 14th. In March last year, Raimundo Nonato Lima da Costa, 49, was also killed when he fell as he worked on the construction of the stadium.
José Antônio da Silva Nascimento, died of a heart attack at the World Cup site on the same day that Mr. Ferreira fell. Following the death of Martins, Amazonas state governor Omar Aziz canceled his visit to the arena yesterday due to the tragedy.
“With great sadness we send our sincere condolences to the family, on behalf of both FIFA and the Local Organising Committee,” wrote FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke on Twitter.
The Arena Amazônia, one of the many venues behind schedule, is due to be finished next week and delivered to the world football’s governing body. According to Andrade Gutierrez, responsible for the building works, the stadium will still be ready within the next seven days and will suffer no further delays.
Brazil’s road to the World Cup has been marred by anti-government protests and delays, as well as fatal accidents, at construction sites. Last November, two other workers died when a crane collapsed at the São Paulo stadium.
Manaus is scheduled to host four games during the FIFA World Cup, with both the USA and England playing matches there. On June 14th, England take on Euro 2012 finalists Italy in the first match at the Amazônia. The game will be followed by Cameroon versus Croatia, a fixture from Brazil’s group, on June 18th. On June 22nd, the USA face Portugal before Honduras play Switzerland on June 25th.
Read more (in Portuguese).
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