Brazil Restarts Construction on Stadium Where 2 People Died Last Week

Officials say it's safe for workers to return to Sao Paulo's Itaqueraro, which will host the World Cup.

Construction workers returned yesterday to Sao Paulo's Itaqueraro, where a crane collapsed last Wednesday, killing two.

Brazil is building 12 new stadiums for next year's World Cup. Despite widespread construction delays and cost overruns, half of them are already up and running. The 70,000-seat Itaquerao (also known as Arena Corinthians) is still scheduled, for now, to host the first match of the 2014 FIFA World Cup on June 12.

According to officials, the stadium is 94 percent complete, but it's behind schedule. Now, it seems certain to open after the December 31 deadline FIFA gave Brazil. More than 100 workers gathered before the start of their morning shifts to pray in honor of the two men who died on duty last week. Though work has now resumed, the part of the stadium where the crane collapsed is off-limits. Brazil's labor ministry banned use of the remaining nine cranes on site until the construction company has proven that enough safety measures are in place.

"We are all Brazilians and Brazilians never quit," metalworker Americo Barbosa told the Associated Press yesterday, "we're going to get our work done and the first game of the World Cup will be held here." 

Metal worker Americo Barbosa returns to the Arena Corinthians stadium that will host the opening match of the World Cup, five days after an accident killed two workers, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Monday, Dec. 2, 2013. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)
Construction workers walk past the damage caused by the collapse at the Corinthians Arena stadium that will host the opening match of the World Cup, five days after an accident killed two workers, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Monday, Dec. 2, 2013. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)
Construction workers gather for a prayer honoring the victims at the Arena Corinthians stadium, Monday, Dec. 2, 2013. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)
Construction workers walk past a banner that reads in Portuguese "Daddy, don't get accident in your work", as they return to the Arena Corinthians stadium, Monday, Dec. 2, 2013. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)
Workers stand near a collapsed crane at the Arena Sao Paulo, known as "Itaquerao", December 2, 2013. (REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker) 
Construction workers return to the Arena Corinthians stadium that will host the opening match of the World Cup, five days after an accident killed two workers, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Monday, Dec. 2, 2013. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

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