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World Cup stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil breaks apart, at least two killed

World Cup stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil breaks apart, at least two killed

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Part of the Arena Corinthians, future site of the World Cup opening ceremony in June 2014, has collapsed, reportedly killing three. The stadium, located in Sao Paulo, Brazil, was still under construction with a set completion date of December, and the BBC reports that a crane collapsed onto the structure, breaking off part of the stands as seen in this photograph from the Futebolnoponto Twitter account. More photographs show the crane dangling over the edge of the stands and what may be fire trucks that were called to the scene after the collapse. Emergency crews are still checking for more possible victims, and construction company Odebrecht has said it's investigating what caused the collapse.

As of mid-November, the stadium was supposed to be 94 percent complete, and it's not known how long this crash will delay construction, nor how extensive the damage is, though the BBC and SB Nation respectively report it occurred at the southern or eastern sector of the stadium while, Associated Press says, most workers were thankfully out for lunch. Construction on the ambitious project has previously been hampered by funding problems and the relationship with FIFA has been strained as Brazil struggles to prepare for both the Olympics and the World Cup, attempting to build new infrastructure while dealing with crime problems and the displacement of citizens to make way for new buildings. The FIFA Confederations Cup, held this summer in Brazil, took place amid widespread protests over corruption, inequality, and public services.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has said he is "deeply saddened" by the collapse: "Our heartfelt condolences are with the families." The Corinthians club, which will use the stadium after its completion, issued a short statement, translated by ITV as the following:

The board of Corinthians Paulista Sports Club deeply regrets the accident earlier at Corinthians Arena.

No other information at this time.

Update: The BBC reports that Brazilian police are confirming two deaths from the collapse, rather than three as fire officials said earlier.