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More World Cup stadium woes for Brazil

A Brazilian court has ordered a partial stop to construction on the Arena Amazonia in the city of Manaus after the death of a worker, who fell off the stadium’s roof raised safety concerns ahead of the 2014 World Cup.

Public prosecutors asked for work “in all areas involving altitude” to be stopped pending investigations to guarantee workers’ safety. The worker, Marcleudo de Melo Ferreira, 22, died in a Manaus hospital on Saturday.

“Around noon on Sunday we were notified of the labour court’s order for a partial stoppage of work,” the coordinator for UGP Copa, the co-ordination organisation for all World Cup projects in Manaus, said in a statement.

“The decision should be applied to activities in high areas, notably the services of mounting the roof and facade of the Arena Amazonia.”

Local construction union leader Cicero Custodio slammed conditions at Manaus and warned his members were ready to strike if conditions did not improve.

“Workers at the Amazonia Arena are being ill-treated,” said Custodio. “We are being ignored by the authorities. I have been talking about conditions at the arena and the risks of night work for some time. Ideally, there would be a general strike to show how things really are.”

Ferreira was the fifth construction worker to die in stadiums being built to host the World Cup in 12 cities. Later on Saturday, a construction worker in a nearby convention centre that will host meetings during the World Cup, Jose Antonio da Silva Nascimento, was found dead. Family members blamed an intense work schedule for triggering a heart-attack.

Manaus is scheduled to host four World Cup games in June, including high-profile encounters involving teams from England, Italy, the United States and Portugal. The stadium is supposed to be ready by January 15.

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