World Cup 2014

World Cup: Tragedy strikes Sao Paulo stadium set to host 2014 World Cup opener

Brazil stadium collapse

Photo Credit: 
REUTERS

Tragedy struck the stadium that is scheduled to host the 2014 World Cup opener.

Brazil's Globo reports that two people died when a crane struck a section of the Arena Corinthians stadium in São Paulo on Wednesday. Brazilian soccer club Corinthians identified the names of the two workers.

The stadium is under construction, and according to FIFA's web site, the work was scheduled to be completed in early 2014.

According to local media, the accident occurred around lunchtime just before 1 pm local time, which meant fewer construction workers were on site. Outlets reported that the site employs 1,500 workers.

In the aftermath of the incident, work has been suspended and the area evacuated, according to reports.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter expressed his sympathies via Twitter: "I'm deeply saddened by the tragic death of workers @Corinthians arena today. Our heartfelt condolences are with the families."

Meanwhile the world governing body's secretary general, Jérome Vâlcke, tweeted: "Extremely shocked by the news from São Paulo. Our thoughts are with the families of the victims of the accident. We are currently awaiting further details from the authorities, who are investigating this tragic accident."

The venue was set to host the opening match of the World Cup, three other group-stage matches, a second-round knockout match and one of the two semifinals.