A British man fell to his death this week at a World Cup stadium building site in Qatar, where construction conditions have come under sharp scrutiny since the country was awarded the 2022 soccer tournament.
The 40-year-old man has not been named by World Cup organizers or the company overseeing the building of the Khalifa International Stadium , which will also host the world track championships in 2019.
The contractor, a joint venture between Belgian and Qatari firms, said it was still working with local authorities to establish the cause of Thursday’s death.
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”The fatal accident took place while the worker was on a suspended catwalk platform designed to manage technical functions relating to sound and light installations,” Midmac-Six Construct said in a statement Friday. ”For unknown reasons one of the lever hoists supporting the platform failed, causing the fall of the worker, who was wearing all his safety equipment, including the safety harness.
”Sadly, the harness was cut during the fall with a fatal outcome. What caused the cut is subject to further investigation.”
The stadium, which was first built on the site in 1976, is next to the Aspire sports academy and is described by organizers as ”Qatar’s most historic stadium.”
”All parties concerned will carefully review the circumstances of the accident and commit to take any necessary measures that can prevent its recurrence,” Midmac-Six Construct said.
Qatar’s World Cup organizing committee is also investigating the incident and said it ”shares our deepest condolences with the family for their loss.”
Qatar has previously announced the death of four stadium workers, with one fatality the result of a work-related accident.
The focus of the scrutiny has been on Qatar’s use of a low-paid, migrant workforce to build the sites for the first World Cup in the Middle East, but the organizers are also relying on expertise from Europeans to oversee projects.
FIFA, which awarded the World Cup to Qatar in a 2010 vote, said it ”deeply regrets the loss of life” at the stadium.
”It is with great sadness that we send our sincere condolences to the victim’s family and colleagues,” FIFA said in a statement.