Overpass collapse at World Cup host city leaves 2 dead

Posted at 9:03 AM, Jul 04, 2014
and last updated 2014-07-04 09:03:24-04

(CNN) — Two people were killed and 22 injured when an overpass bridge under construction collapsed Thursday in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, one of the host cities for the ongoing World Cup, firefighters said on Twitter.

Two buses were also damaged in the collapse, said CNN affiliate TV Record, which cited firefighters.

Images that circulated on social media showed a bus trapped by the collapsed concrete structure. Another photo showed at least one car was crushed

The overpass traverses a major thoroughfare and is almost four miles from the 58,170-seat Estadio Mineirao, where some World Cup games are being played in Belo Horizonte.

The overpass was supposed to have been completed in time for the World Cup, which began last month and continues through next weekend.

Killed were Hanna Cristina Santos, 24, and Charlys Federico Moreira do Nascimento, 25, firefighters said. The latter died in a vehicle, according to firefighters.

Brazil’s preparations for the World Cup have been controversial. Some critics say the spending was lavish at the expense of schools, public services and hospitals. Also, many of the country’s 12 venues struggled to meet construction schedules in time for the games, and several workers died on World Cup stadium construction sites.

Belo Horizonte will host Tuesday’s semifinal match between the winner of the France-Germany match and the winner of the Brazil-Colombia game.

The city has so far hosted five World Cup games since June 14, when Colombia beat Greece 3-0. Tuesday’s game will be the last to be hosted by the city in this year’s World Cup.

The U.S. team did not compete there this year.

Most recently, Brazil and Chile played to a 1-1 tie in Belo Horizonte on Saturday.

Estadio Mineirao is one of the most historic venues in Brazilian soccer and was overhauled for the games: The pitch surface was lowered, accessibility improved, and a system installed to capture and store rainwater for reuse. The facility’s official name is Estadio Governador Magalhaes Pinto, but it’s commonly known as the Mineirao. The stadium is home to Atletico Mineiro and Cruzeiro, both former national champions in Brazil.