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Seven dead in stand collapse

Questions raised about World Cup safety after fans plunge 15m when Brazil terrace fails
Brazil's preparations for hosting the 2014 football World Cup tournament were thrust into the spotlight this week after seven football fans died when a section of concrete floor collapsed during a match at the Fonte Nova stadium in Salvador.

Around 60,000 fans were celebrating towards the end of a game when the section of concrete upper terraces gave way causing fans to fall 15m to the street below.

The tragedy came just one month after the 56 year old stadium's condition was criticised in a hard-hitting report by SINAENCO, the
National Union of the Companies of Architecture and Advisory Engineering in Brazil.

The report Study on the State of Maintenance and Condition of Brazilian Stadiums described the stadium as being in a "pitiful state", with the "terraces in ruins" and "structural beams and columns compromised".

Brazil was awarded the right to host the 2014 World Cup by football's world governing body FIFA last month.

SINAENCO's report was intended to alert the Brazilian authorities to the need for maintenance and reform of the nation's sporting infrastructure before the competition.

Alongside dozens of other major stadiums across the country, the report shows pictures of the deteriorating condition of the 66,000 capacity Fonte Nova stadium with exposed reinforcement in main structural concrete beams and columns and water ponding on the concrete terraces.
FIFA this week insisted that the incident would not impact the decision to make Brazil host nation for the 2014 World Cup.

The Fonte Nova stadium, it said, was not among those inspected as part of the bid process.

A FIFA spokesman said: "This tragic event shows how important careful construction work is and even more so the crucial importance of regular and comprehensive maintenance of any stadium and football facility."

The stadium will remain closed until investigations establish the cause of the accident.

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