Work Suspended on World Cup Soccer Stadium Seats After Death

Installation of temporary seating in the stadium that will host the opening match of soccer’s World Cup in Brazil in 10 weeks has been suspended following the death of a worker.

The death three days ago of Fabio Hamilton da Cruz, 23, who fell 8 meters (about 26 feet) while working on the temporary bleachers at Sao Paulo’s Corinthians Arena, was the most recent blow to Brazil’s World Cup preparations. The country is rushing to complete delayed work on stadiums and other infrastructure projects in time for the tournament’s June 12 kickoff, when Brazil meets Croatia.

Just under a third of the $355 million stadium’s 65,807 seats are supposed to be temporary for the World Cup. Work on installing them at the north and south sections of the arena was stopped by a regional unit of the ministry of labor, according to an e-mailed statement yesterday from Fast Engenharia, the company responsible for the work.

Officials for the state government in Sao Paulo overseeing World Cup preparations there said the labor ministry is conducting an audit of the site to see if it has the required safety measures.

“We are monitoring the situation and hope that the doubts and concerns the regional labor office may have are rapidly cleared and concluded so that the environment is safe for the full resumption of work,” Sao Paulo state’s World Cup organizing committee said in an e-mail.

Crane Collapse

Two deaths following a crane collapse at the stadium in November led to delays in handing over the stadium to world soccer governing body FIFA by the Dec. 31 deadline. A new date of April 15 was agreed upon, and much work remains to be done at the site, including the installation of media seating, the completion of corporate boxes and the erection of television screens.

Fast Engenharia said yesterday that its board would conduct a technical analysis before announcing the effect on the construction schedule. The company said in a separate statement today that it expects authorities to lift the suspension once all the documentation requested is analyzed, without providing a time frame.

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