Rushed Construction Leads to World Cup Deaths 1

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Tuesday, July 8th, 2014
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Low-quality building work resulting from poor scheduling and reduced concern for construction quality has led to a number of needless deaths in the World Cup host nation.

The collapse of an overpass being built in the World Cup host city of Belo Horizonte has led to the deaths of at least two people and caused injury to 22 others, as concerns mount over the safety and quality of the infrastructure that Brazilian authorities are still rushing to complete for the sporting event.

The steel and concrete bridge was situated just five kilometres from the Mineirao stadium, which has been the site of several World Cup matches over the past several weeks, and passed over what authorities refer to as a very busy thoroughfare.

Security footage shows that the road beneath the overpass was packed with heavy traffic in the moments just prior to the collapse, which crushed a number of vehicles and left others trapped.

Authorities have put the death toll so far at two individuals, with the female driver of a commuter bus and one other person killed when the overpass collapsed directly onto their vehicles.

That is just one of many urban transportation projects included in the infrastructure upgrade plans for the World Cup which have failed to finish on schedule, despite the efforts of authorities to expedite their rapid completion.

This is not the first time that slovenly construction work in relation to Brazil’s World Cup preparations has resulted in fatalities.

The collapse of part of a monorail project in Sao Paolo at the start of June left one person dead and two others injured when a concrete support beam fell from its position and delivered a fatal blow to a worker just beneath it.

At the time, the monorail, which was slated to connect Congonhas Airport to three metro lines in the city, was already well behind schedule.

Local residents blame much of the slovenly construction on poor scheduling, with the commencement of much World Cup-related infrastructure work delayed until just last year. This meant that projects had to be completed in haste and with diminished regard for quality or safety.

The construction of Brazil’s 12 World Cup arenas are also reported to have left eight people dead.

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  1. David Chandler

    This is a tragic accident and Australian readers should not feel immune from these risks. The recent ACT Attorney General's report on construction certification and compliance is a pointer. So are incidents of cranes collapsing in the public domain, major public facilities being occupied when they are not fit for purpose, unauthorised building work which leads to fire and death, school buildings ceilings collapsing are all happening here and now. Our regulators are simply not up to the task. In NZ the Christchurch collapse of the CTV building shows these issues apply elsewhere. But Australians should not be happy with the status quo as there are serious questions to answer in construction here if we are to be happy about our public realm.