Sao Paulo - Brazilian police plan to talk to the operator of the crane
that collapsed this week and killed two workers at a stadium set to host
the 2014 World Cup soccer tournament opener.
Police said they hope the
interview will help investigators pinpoint the cause of the accident,
which has cast more doubt on Brazil's preparedness for hosting the
A police inspector has said on
Friday the crane operator is not yet suspected of any wrongdoing but is
considered a key witness to Wednesday's accident at the Arena
"We can't say anything about responsibility yet, but
he was right there where the accident happened and it will be extremely
important to hear what he has to say," inspector Luiz Antonio da Cruz
said in a telephone interview.
Meanwhile, inspections continued at
the construction site on Friday, and with crews analyzing options to
restart work in the area where the crane collapsed while trying to hoist
a 500-ton metal roofing structure.
The piece crashed down
damaging part of the stadium and raising fears that the facility may not
be ready in time for the June 12 World Cup opener. Delays caused by the
accident will almost certainly keep Brazil from delivering the
remaining six World Cup stadiums by the end of the year as required by
world's football governing body FIFA.
Local organizers say the
stadiums will be ready, but FIFA is waiting to find out the extent of
the damage before guaranteeing Sao Paulo will remain the opener host. An
announcement from FIFA isn't expected until next week just before the
high-profile World Cup draw in the resort city of Costa do Sauipe.
Cruz said the crane operator will likely reveal the most about the
accident. His name was not being released out of fear that other workers
could make an attempt on his life, Cruz said.
"We have to know what he saw, what he knows," Cruz said.
to witnesses, the crane operator jumped out of the machine when he
realized it was collapsing with the 500-ton metal roofing structure
still attached to it.
Brazilian media reported he was in shock
after the accident and was allowed to go home. Cruz said police so far
have only made an informal request to talk to him. The interview was
expected to happen Friday, but it could also be pushed back to next
Civil defense authorities said Thursday they were following
three lines of investigation — human error, mechanical problems or
instability with the ground underneath the crane.
engineer allegedly warned his supervisor of possible problems with soil
firmness around the stadium due to recent rains but managers brushed
aside his concerns, a labor union leader charged Thursday. Odebrecht,
the powerful Brazilian construction company behind the Corinthians
stadium project and three other World Cup venues, strongly denied the
Cruz said he also talked to the engineer in charge of
the crane operation at the time of the accident, who denied any
"He said that they had conducted similar operations
several times before at the site and nothing had gone wrong," the
Civil defense officials said Thursday that work
can resume on most of the stadium after a three-day mourning period ends
Monday, but the Labor Ministry said Odebrecht was prohibited from using
the other nine cranes at the site until they can show "safety measures
are in place and there is no more risk of accidents."
be allowed to clear the crane and the metal roofing structure after
getting clearance from civil defense authorities, which is expected