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Worker dies outside World Cup venue in Brazil

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 7, 2014 at 8:53 pm •  Published: February 7, 2014

SAO PAULO (AP) — A worker was killed in an accident outside the World Cup stadium in the jungle city of Manaus, local organizers said Friday, in the latest incident tarnishing Brazil's image as it tries to get ready for soccer's showcase event in June.

Organizers in charge of the city's preparations said the man died while dismantling a crane used to install the roof of the Arena da Amazonia.

It wAs the third death of a worker in accidents in or near the stadium in Manaus in less than a year.

The local government identified the 55-year-old Portuguese man as Antonio Jose Pita Martins, who worked for the Portuguese company Martifer, a multinational focused in metal constructions.

Brazilian media said he sustained head and chest injuries when he was hit by a metal bar in the early morning accident. Organizers said the cause of the accident was being investigated.

An inspection visit by the Amazonas state governor at the stadium Friday was canceled because of the death. Gov. Omar Aziz had been expected to announce the date of the venue's inauguration.

FIFA and the local World Cup organizing committee said in a statement they "deeply regret the death of the worker."

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff also released a statement lamenting the death.

Brazil has been under a spotlight because of its problematic World Cup preparations, with the southern host city of Curitiba still in danger of being dropped because of a delay in stadium construction. The country also is making headlines because of fan violence and turmoil in the Brazilian league, which may not start on time because of a series of civil lawsuits against a sports tribunal decision that altered last year's final standings.

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