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Brazil World Cup worker plunges to death

The death of the third venue construction worker in a month puts World Cup safety back in the spotlight.

Last updated: 15 Dec 2013 02:32
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Workers have complained of poor safety conditions at World Cup venues under construction [Reuters]

A construction worker has died at a FIFA World Cup venue in the Brazilian city of Manaus, as workers struggle to complete stadia by the end-of-year deadline.

Marcleudo de Melo Ferreira died in hospital after falling nearly 35 metres (115ft) from the stadium roof after a cable broke.

The 22-year-old was the third worker to have died at a World Cup venue in the past month.

"We would like to send our most sincere condolences to his family, relatives, colleagues and friends," read a statement from football's governing body, FIFA.

The death at the Arena Amazonia marks the latest setback to hit Brazil before it hosts football's showcase event next year.

A few hours after Saturday's death, another worker died of a heart attack while working outside the venue in Manaus, and a local union threatened to withdraw labour there from Monday, to complain about inadequate conditions offered to labourers.

"We need a strike to show what is really happening inside the arena," said Cicero Custodio, president of Amazonas state civil construction workers' union.

The 49-year-old heart attack victim was paving an area outside the venue when he died. He was working for a construction company hired by local officials, and local media reported that family members complained that he was working seven days a week and there was pressure from his superiors to finish the work on time.

In late November, two workers were killed when a crane collapsed as it was hoisting a 500-tonne piece of roofing at the Sao Paulo stadium that will host the tournament's June 12 opener. Last year, a worker died at the construction site of the stadium in the nation's capital, Brasilia.

Another worker died in April at the new Palmeiras stadium, which may be used for teams training for games in Sao Paulo.

Brazil had already made headlines a week ago because of fan violence in the final round of the Brazilian league, and again earlier this month after World Cup organisers announced that none of the six new stadia would be delivered on time.

The Manaus stadium will host four World Cup matches, beginning with England vs Italy on June 14. It will also host the United States vs Portugal on June 22.

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Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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