Construction of the Itaquerao Stadium was 94 percent complete at the time of the collapse. (Nelson Almeida/Getty Images)
Three fatalities have been reported by the Associated Press after a stadium that was set to host the World Cup opener in Brazil next summer collapsed on Wednesday.
According to the AP report, construction of the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paolo was 94 percent complete at the time of the crash, just weeks before the FIFA deadline in December to have all 12 venues ready. Local media coverage cited in the AP report indicates the damage happened when a crane collapsed. The crane was reportedly installing a final structure at the stadium. Television images show a metal structure buckled at the top of the stadium, destroying sections of the stands located in the east side of the venue and an LED panel outside the stadium.
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Brazilian club Corinthians, who were set to occupy the stadium upon its completion, issued the following statement on Wednesday via their website:
"The board of Corinthians Paulista Sports Club deeply regrets the accident earlier at Corinthians Arena. No other information at this time."
Buzzfeed tweeted a photo of the crane collapse and subsequent damage, and soccer journalist Jack Lang tweeted an aerial shot of the scene: