Bridge collapses in World Cup host city, killing at least two

An unfinished overpass collapsed on vehicles in Brazil’s southeastern World Cup city of Belo Horizonte on Thursday. (PEDRO DUARTE/AFP/Getty Images)

A bridge collapsed in the Brazilian city of Belo Horizonte, killing at least two people while crushing two construction trucks, a car and part of a bus. The city’s Mineirao Stadium has hosted five World Cup games so far and is scheduled to be the site of a semifinal match on Tuesday.

Brazil’s preparations for the World Cup were the subject of huge controversy before the tournament started, both for the money spent on them and for many problems plaguing the country’s efforts to build the required infrastructure. Eight people died while helping construct stadiums for the World Cup, which, once it started, had been going more smoothly than many anticipated.

From a Reuters report:

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

Groups of people gathered around the scene of the accident, some shouting furiously.

“This is the incompetence of our authorities and our businesses,” said Leandro Brito, 23, a bank worker. “Because of the World Cup they sped everything up to finish faster. That’s why this tragedy has happened. They are not making things properly. Everyone is very angry.”

Rescue workers try to reach vehicles trapped underneath a bridge that collapsed while under construction in Belo Horizonte July 3, 2014. (Carlos Greco/Reuters)

Globo news, a 24-hour Brazilian news channel, posted video of the scene, which can be viewed here.

More from Reuters:

Via Twitter on Thursday, President Dilma Rousseff offered her government’s assistance to local authorities if needed.
“In this moment of pain, I offer my solidarity to the families of the victims,” she said.

There were conflicting reports over the casualties of the accident in Belo Horizonte, which has already hosted five World Cup games and has the semi-final match on Tuesday.

The city’s fire department confirmed one death and 19 injuries, Lieutenant Colonel Edgard Estevo said. A health department spokesman earlier said two people had died but later said one of the deaths had not yet been confirmed.

This former editor and part-time writer at The Post is now happy to prove that if you combine 'blowhard' and 'blaggard,' you get 'blogger.' He previously had used 'Desmond Bieler' as his byline, but feels that shortening the first name to 'Des' nicely conveys his ever-decreasing gravitas. He also covers Fantasy Football.



Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Next Story
Des Bieler · July 3, 2014

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.