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Friday, July 4, 2014

Bridge Collapse Mars Brazilian World Cup


July 3, 2014 11:47 pm

Bridge collapse mars Brazilian World Cup

Firefighters and policemen work at the site where several vehicles were crushed by a viaduct that collapsed in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, on July 3, 2014. An unfinished overpass collapsed on vehicles in Brazil's southeastern World Cup city of Belo Horizonte on Thursday, killing at least two people and injuring 19, officials said. AFP PHOTO/PEDRO DUARTE©AFP
At least two people were killed and 20 injured in Brazil following the collapse of an overpass being built for an urban transit project originally intended for the World Cup.
In the accident in Belo Horizonte, which will host the first semi-final of the World Cupon Tuesday, a bus was trapped under the concrete overpass and two cars and trucks were also crushed.

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“We don’t know yet if there are more vehicles underneath the structure,” said a spokesperson for the fire department of the state of Minas Gerais, of which Belo Horizonte is the capital.
She said at least two people were killed and declined to confirm how many were injured. Bloomberg reported 20 had been hurt.
While the World Cup has so far passed mostly without serious incidents, the collapse of the bridge is a reminder of criticism ahead of the tournament of rushed preparations.
Many of the 12 host cities were forced to shelve or delay infrastructure projects promised for the tournament until after the event.
Some cities, such as Cuiabá in the country’s central western state of Mato Grosso, remained virtual building sites even as the first games got under way.
In the biggest accident ahead of the World Cup, two people were killed when a crane that was moving parts of the roof of São Paulo’s Itaquerão stadium fell over last year, delaying completion of the already behind-schedule project until just a couple of weeks before the World Cup began.
Many stadiums barely had time for proper testing before the start of the tournament.
In São Paulo last month, another person was killed when part of an overpass being built for a monorail project collapsed. The mass transit project was not related to the World Cup, however.
The collapse of the overpass in Belo Horizonte will raise concerns over World Cup projects but is not expected to tarnish the renewed optimism over the tournament.
Before the event, President Dilma Rousseff was falling in the polls ahead of a general election in October but a survey released this week showed support for the centre-left leader rising to 38 per cent from 34 per cent a month ago.
The Datafolha poll also showed her nearest rival Aécio Neves rising to 20 percentage points from 19 percentage points.
Of those polled, 60 per cent also said the World Cup had made them proud to be Brazilian, up from 45 per cent before the tournament, when public anger over government expenditure on the event was at its height.

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