Eighth worker killed during Brazil’s World Cup preparations

June 16, 2014

RIO DE JANEIRO — A worker died Thursday at a World Cup stadium in Brazil after he was electrocuted. His death marked the eighth fatality during chaotic preparations for the tournament.

The 32-year-old father of two was installing lighting in a corridor at the new Pantanal Arena in Cuiaba when he suffered the electric shock. He died despite attempts to save him by emergency services at the scene.

A spokesman for the regional World Cup secretariat told AFP that work to finish the 43,000-capacity venue in central-western Brazil would continue, with the World Cup five weeks away.

The stadium, which has been running behind schedule but is due to be inaugurated on May 18, will host four matches, starting with Chile versus Australia on June 13.

Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo said in a statement he was saddened at the death of Mohamed Ali Maciel Afonso and sent condolences to the family.

A series of fatal accidents have marred preparations for the tournament, which takes place 12 cities across Brazil.

Three workers died in the Arena Amazonia in the city of Manaus, and three other fatalities occurred at Sao Paulo’s much-delayed Corinthians Arena, which hosts the opening match between Brazil and Croatia on June 12.

There was a another death at the new stadium in the capital Brasilia in 2012.

Brazil has been racing against the clock to complete preparations, not only at stadiums but also in terms of transport links and aging airports.

Half of the 12 stadiums missed a December 31 deadline set by FIFA to be ready. Stadiums in Cuiaba, Sao Paulo, Curitiba and Porto Alegre remain incomplete.

FIFA, world football’s governing body, has repeatedly decried the hosts’ “last-minute” approach but says the stadiums will be ready by the time the action starts.

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