“If it hadn’t been lunchtime there would have been many more deaths,” said 32-year-old Evandro Pereira. “It was really very scary.”
An official with construction company Odebrecht said a similar metal structure had already been installed with the same crane at the other side of the stadium earlier this year.
“Everything was being done according to procedure,” said Frederico Barbosa, the site manager.
It wasn’t the first problem with World Cup stadiums in Brazil.
One worker died last year during construction of a stadium in the capital, Brasilia, and one was killed at the Manaus stadium last March.
Another worker died in April at the new Palmeiras stadium, which may be used for teams training for games in Sao Paulo. Construction there was stopped for 10 days for when damage that was not as serious as the destruction Wednesday at the Corinthians stadium.
Other problems have seen heavy rains flood the construction site at Rio’s Maracana Stadium last March, forcing the cancellation of a FIFA inspection visit. In May, a small part of the roof at Salvador’s stadium collapsed from the weight of water that accumulated during a heavy rainstorm.
In Rio, the stadium that will host track and field events in the 2016 Olympics has been closed for several months because of fears that its roof could collapse. Renovation work is underway there.