• World Cup

Judge asked to halt Manaus work

ESPN staff
December 15, 2013

A judge has been asked to order a halt to building work at the World Cup stadium at which England will face Italy after the death of a construction worker.

Public prosecutors told the judge conditions at the Arena Amazonia, in the city of Manaus, were "unacceptably dangerous" and many problems needed to be resolved, Sky News reported.

The public prosecutor's office in Brazil's northern state of Amazonia has submitted a 13-page report demanding an "urgent and immediate halt" to work after 22-year-old worker Marcleudo de Melo Ferreira fell 35 metres when a cable broke as he worked on the roofing structure. He died of his injuries in hospital.

Andrade Gutierrez, the company overseeing construction, stopped work on Saturday as a mark of respect.

The scathing prosecutor's office report said there had been violations of "health and safety worker protection norms" at the venue, with "serious problems" surrounding the safety of those working high above the ground.

It called for all "necessary measures to prevent serious and imminent risk" to worker safety, including ensuring that all scaffolding was properly fixed in place and warned: "The public prosecutor's office cannot allow the urgency of finishing a construction for the 2014 World Cup to be taken care of at the cost of the life and well-being of those working on it."

Construction union leader Cicero Custodio had earlier said workers were being "ill-treated" and would strike if conditions were not improved.

"It is disgraceful that lives are being put at risk through working night shifts at dangerous sites to make construction deadlines," he said.

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