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Crane Accident Deaths Cast Shadow Over Brazil's World Cup

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It didn't happen in New York City, and the attorneys at Block O'Toole & Murphy hope that the U.S. laws protecting workers are strong enough that something like this will never occur.

A Brazilian worker helping construct a stadium for the World Cup that begins in June was killed last week. His was the sixth construction-related death in the South American country involving stadiums for the international football tournament. The worker, a Portuguese national, died while dismantling a crane in Manaus in the northern part of Brazil.

This was the third World Cup-related fatality in Manaus and the fourth in the country since two workers were killed in a Sao Paulo crane accident in November. FIFA, the international football organization, said that Brazil had started World Cup construction too late. The worker died in hospital while being treated for a head injury.

Brazil is spending the equivalent of $3.4 billion on 12 stadiums for the event. The deadline for six of the stadiums has come and gone, forcing Brazil to rush to get them ready by June. No one has been able to say whether the recent accident will push back the opening date for the Manaus stadium, schedule for sometime after February 14. According to a February statement, the stadium is 97 percent completed.

The death rate in Brazil is three times that of South Africa, the previous host of the World Cup in 2010. Two workers died while building infrastructure for the event. No workers died in the construction for the 2012 summer Olympics in London, England.

Source: Bloomberg News, "Brazil World Cup Work Claims 6th Life After Crane Accident," Feb. 7, 2014.