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Second death confirmed in Brazil overpass collapse

Source: Reuters - Fri, 4 Jul 2014 13:46 GMT
Author: Reuters
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SAO PAULO, July 4 (Reuters) - Rescue workers pulled a body from the wreckage of a collapsed highway overpass in the Brazilian World Cup host city of Belo Horizonte early on Friday, confirming a second death in an accident that has cast a shadow over the soccer tournament.

The bridge, which was still under construction, is located about two miles (3 km) from Mineirao stadium, where World Cup games are being played. It collapsed on Thursday afternoon as vehicles were passing on a busy road underneath.

Rescue workers removed a car that had been pinned under the rubble at 5:30 a.m. (8:30 GMT) on Friday, finding one body in it, the city's fire department told Reuters. On Thursday a bus driver was killed behind the wheel after being crushed by the falling structure.

Twenty-two people were injured in the accident, including several construction workers, the spokesman said.

The collapsed overpass stretched over one of the major thoroughfares connecting the stadium area with the international airport. It was to have been part of a Bus Rapid Transit system that officials had promised would be ready for the World Cup.

The accident cast a pall over the soccer tournament, whose preparations were marred by repeated construction accidents and delays. The tournament itself, however, has gone far better than many expected.

City officials canceled an outdoor viewing party on Friday for the Brazil-Colombia quarter-final match.

The Belo Horizonte mayor's office said government infrastructure officials, along with construction companies responsible for the project, would produce a report on the causes of the collapse.

Construction company Cowan, which had been building the overpass, said it had sent a team to the site to begin investigations, according to the company's website. (Reporting by Caroline Stauffer; Writing by Asher Levine; Editing by Peter Galloway)

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