A section of the £300million stadium that will host the football World Cup opener in Brazil has collapsed killing three people.
A crane collapsed this afternoon and fell onto the construction site of the 68,000-seater Sao Paulo Arena, destroying parts of the stands.
Local military police say the soil beneath it gave way. Although three people were killed, the accident happened at lunchtime meaning fewer construction workers were in the area when the collapse occurred.
The crane was putting the final truss of the east stand into place.
The stadium, which was scheduled to be finished in the next month or so, is to be the site of the opening game when Brazil hosts the 2014 soccer World Cup in June and July.
Project bosses of the stadium admitting last week they were facing an uphill battle to get it ready for the opening match of the World Cup.
Cranes and diggers have been working on the site – six years after the nation was awarded the tournament.
Construction bosses admitted they will miss the December 31 deadline for delivery to the sport’s governing body Fifa and that work will still have to be done after the stadium handover.
Civil engineer Marcio Prado said last week: “The arena’s roof should be finished this month and we’ll need to get its protective cover in place.
“But then we’ll have the final details, such as finishing off internal walls and floors, doing the painting, things like that.
“I still believe we’ll be finished and ready for the test events in March.”
Brazil has admitted that it is having difficulties getting all 12 venues ready for the start of the tournament. There have also been public protests over the amounts of money being spent by the country’s government on the tournament.
As reported by the BBC, Danny Jordaan, who was involved with South Africa’s 2010 World Cup, said Brazil may need to have to start 24-hour construction work in order to be ready for the beginning of the tournament.
A spokesman for the football team Corinthians said: “The directors [of the club] deeply regret the accident that occurred at the Arena.”