Itaquerao Stadium suffers minimal damage from crane accident that killed two

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Former Corinthians president Andres Sanchez and Frederico Barbosa, Odebrecht's operations manager for the Itaquerao Stadium project, spoke to the media about Wednesday's crane accident that resulted in two deaths.

Two men have died after a crane collapsed over part of the Itaquerao Stadium in Brazil on Wednesday. Itaquerao was expected to be completed by December, but there is no official word yet on whether the accident will cause a significant delay. The stadium was slated to be the venue for the opening match of the 2014 World Cup.

The crane was hoisting a piece to complete the stadium's roof and fell over the east side of the stadium. Fabio Luiz Pereira, 42, a truck driver who was working at the operation, and Ronaldo Oliveira dos Santos, 44, who was sleeping at the moment of the accident, were the two victims.

"I was there moments before the accident," Andres Sanchez, Corinthians's former president, told the media during a press conference at the stadium on Wednesday afternoon. "We're deeply sorry that two of our workers have passed away, and we'll do everything we can to help their families."

"[Ronaldo Oliveira dos Santos] wasn't supposed to be there," Sanchez added. "We don't know yet what has caused the accident, but the local authorities are investigating it already. That piece weighted 420 tons, but the crane stands up to 1500 tons."

According to Frederico Barbosa of Odebrecht Infraestrutura, the construction company responsible for the arena, the accident caused no apparent structural damage to the stadium.

"The structure hasn't suffered any damage, everything is stable right now," Barbosa said. "They were working on the last piece of the roof, and we had no problems with the other ones before."

At least 1,600 people were at the stadium at the moment of the accident, but almost all of them were at their lunch break. According to Barbosa, only 30 workers were involved at the procedure that caused the accident. Sanchez said that they won't return to work for at least three days.

Local authorities are analyzing the structure of the stadium, but Corinthians and Odebrecht aren't worried about a possible delay in construction work.

"We were worried always with the safety of our workers first, not timetables or quality," Sanchez said. "We're very sorry with the accident, but it happens. We'll see what happens now. They will check the structure of the building in the coming days and see what we need to do. We're not worried about timing."

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