Arena Corinthians crane accident


On November 27, 2013, two construction workers were killed when a giant crane collapsed at the Arena Corinthians, in São Paulo, Brazil. This football stadium was one of the 12 stadiums that were either being renovated or constructed for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

This stadium was, inclusively, assigned to host the first match of the competition, on June 12, 2014.

According to eyewitnesses, the crane that hoisted the last part of the structure of the metal roof of the stadium collapsed shortly after 1pm during a routine operation to place the final section of the cover over the north stand. The death toll was originally reported as three but was then updated to two.

Fatal accident involving a crane in São Paulo, Brazil, in 2013


Shortly after the accident took place a formal investigation started. Firstly, it was found by the investigators that no one else died mainly due to the fact that it was lunch time at the time of the events. Therefore, the majority of the personnel was having lunch and not at the scene.

It was found that FIFA had given a deadline of December 31, 2013 to Brazil for this stadium to be totally completed. The local authorities found this to be round-the-clock construction schedule. Moreover, after talking to the remaining workers involved in this project, it was discovered that many of them had 12-hour working shift and gave up of holidays. So, in a nutshell, it was concluded that the construction of this stadium was being done excessively fast, undermining the safety and well-being of the construction workers. The strict deadline, together with the limited budget and the increased demands for more fans space, better facilities and accesses were disturbing factors that played a major role in this accident.

However, perhaps the most appalling factor involving this incident was the fact that a safety engineer present at the stadium had warned his supervisor of possible safety problems with the operation. However, his efforts were in vain, because the supervisor totally ignored him

After the accident

The tragic accident resulted not only in the deaths of two workers, but also in a delay of 4 months in the final deadline. This football arena ended up costing 450 millions of US dollars.

In April 2014, the Arena Corinthians was declared to be ready for the FIFA World Cup competition and hosted the first match of the event, between Brazil and Croatia, on June 12, 2014.

Brazil beat Croatia 3-1 in the opening match of 2014 FIFA World Cup

My own (design) suggestions that could have prevented the accident

  • Properly analyse the stability of the ground beforehand
  • Implement strict security measures in all infrastructures
  • Listen to safety specialists, like the engineer that was ignored
  • Do not give so much importance to strict deadlines and goals
  • Value the construction workers job and their right to vacations
  • Analyse the possibility of having more efficient cranes, and not cheaper ones


[1] HILL, John, “Crane Collapses at Brazilian Stadium”, December 2, 2013, Profiles of Selected Architects. Accessed: January 5, 2021. [Online]. Available:

[2]BARLOW, Matt, “World Cup tragedy! Two dead as crane COLLAPSES on stadium set to host opening game in seven months time”, Published: November 27, 2013. Updated: November 28, 2013, MailOnline. Accessed: January 5, 2021. [Online]. Available:

[3] “Brazil World Cup stadium deaths: union says safety concerns ignored”, The Guardian. Accessed: January 5, 2021. [Online]. Available:

[4] “Two killed as crane collapses at Brazilian World Cup stadium”, The Guardian. Accessed: January 5, 2021. [Online]. Available: