Freeway overpass collapses in Brazil

Amy Lopez
Dirty Tackle

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A freeway overpass has collapsed in the city of Belo Horizonte, Brazil – about six miles from Cidade de Galo, where Argentina has its main training camp.

Brazilian officials dealing with the incident have stated that one car, two construction trucks and one communter bus carrying 13 people were trapped under the overpass. The woman driving the commuter bus died in the collapse, Capt. Federico Pascual of the Belo Horizonte fire department told The Associated Press.

[Photos: Tragedy as overpass collapses in World Cup host city]

A member of the mayor's office told The AP that a second victim also died.

The fire department has not been able to reach the car that is fully trapped under the wreckage, lieutenant colonel Edgard Estevo da Silva told ESPN, and the crews are using a camera to look under the rubble, as they have not ruled out the possibility that the driver of the car is alive. He added that the two construction trucks were empty.

Information released by the Department of Health of Minas Gerais said at least 22 people are injured, including 10 construction workers on the project. There were no workers on the overpass when it collapsed at 3:10 p.m. local time. 

The cause of the accident is uncertain but the overpass was part of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project in Belo Horizonte, a public transportation system that builds separate lanes for buses. BRT already existed in several other Brazilian cities, and was built in Belo Horizonte in advance of the World Cup.

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Other segments of the city's BRT system opened in February. Local media is reporting that this one was expected to be finished soon, as construction crews were already starting to remove support beams, according to Mashable and others. Another portion of the BRT was shutdown a few months ago due to structural problems.

The project commenced about one year ago but did not meet its deadline. The overpass runs over Avenida Pedro l, which is the main way to access the city's World Cup stadium.

There are no quarterfinal games scheduled in Belo Horizonte's Mineirao Stadium, located three miles away from the overpass, but a semifinal will be played there next Tuesday. 

- Danielle Elliot of Yahoo Sports contributed to this article.

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