Contractor seeks to resume work at World Cup site
The contractor at the World Cup stadium where a worker fell 115
feet (35 meters) to his death is trying to reverse a labor court
ruling that halted work on part of the venue.
Construction company Andrade Gutierrez said Monday it is trying
to show officials that all safety measures are in place for workers
installing the roof structures at the Arena Amazonia in the jungle
city of Manaus, where England will play Italy and the United States
will face Portugal in next year’s World Cup.
After Saturday’s death, public prosecutors requested the
immediate interruption of work in all areas where laborers need to
be high above the ground. The labor court said contractors must
present a detailed report showing the site is safe.
It was the second death at the Arena Amazonia in less than a
year, and the fifth at a World Cup venue the past two years. Two
workers were killed when a crane collapsed Nov. 27 as it was
hoisting a 500-ton piece of roofing at the Sao Paulo stadium that
will host the World Cup opener. Last year, a worker died at the
construction site of the stadium in the nation’s capital, Brasilia.
The other death in Manaus happened in March.
Local World Cup organizers denied that some of the 2,000 workers
walked off the Manaus construction site Monday and said work went
on as usual where allowed by authorities. They said the Arena
Amazonia was 93 percent completed by last week.
”There was no work stoppage,” said Miguel Capobiango Neto, the
local World Cup coordinator. ”All workers went through a revision
of security procedures and returned to their assignments.”
A local union had planned a strike to complain of inadequate
conditions at the stadium, which is among the six World Cup arenas
that will not be completed by the end of the year as wanted by the
international soccer body FIFA because of construction delays.
Another is the Sao Paulo venue, where the giant white latticed
roof arch still sits where it fell last month, resting bent and
crumpled on top of a wall it partly wrecked at one end of the
Andres Sanchez, the Corinthians soccer club ex-president in
charge of the team’s stadium project in Sao Paulo, said Monday that
construction will be finished April 15, with test events likely
taking place later that month. Most of the stadium, with the
exception of the corner where the crane collapsed, will be ready
before that, he said.
If not for the accident, the stadium would have been ready for
test games in February. Investigations continue to determine the
reasons why the German crane collapsed, he said.
Manaus officials wanted to hold the first test event at the
stadium Jan. 15, with around 10,000 workers who participated in the
venue’s construction serving as spectators. Organizers said it’s
too early to say how much the construction stoppage this week will
affect the stadium’s delivery.
AP Sports Writer John Leicester in Sao Paulo contributed to this