July 4, 2014 at 7:48 pm

World Cup indirect kicks: Final death toll in overpass collapse is two

Rescue workers on Friday recovered the body of a 25-year-old man crushed beneath tons of concrete and steel of an unfinished overpass that collapsed in the World Cup host city of Belo Horizonte, a City Hall press officer said.

The official said that rescue workers reached a small passenger car that was flattened by the collapsed overpass and retrieved the body of Charlys do Nascimento. No one else was in the car.

He said the final death toll was two. Officials had already assumed at least one person had died in the car in addition to a bus driver whose body was recovered earlier. Twenty-two people suffered non-life-threatening injuries in Thursday’s accident.

No one was inside the two trucks trapped underneath the rubble, the press officer said.

The press officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of internal regulations, said inspectors were trying to determine what caused the overpass to fall.

Belo Horizonte Mayor Marcio Lacerda told reporters it was premature to talk about causes.

“We don’t know if it was the project or the construction that was flawed.” he said.

Lacerda decreed three days of mourning and canceled Friday’s World Cup-related activities like the Fan Fest.

The overpass collapsed about 3 miles (5 kilometers) from Mineirao stadium, which is the site of a semifinal match Tuesday.

The collapse has been an embarrassment for the country, which has been basking in praise for what has mostly been a smoothly running soccer tournament.

Talk radio shows were abuzz Friday with indignation over the collapse.

Callers and hosts pointed to the incident as an example of what has infuriated Brazilians in the run-up to the Cup: infrastructure projects running far behind schedule, well over budget and often allegedly poorly done.

When Brazil was awarded the World Cup in 2007, politicians promised $8 billion would be spent on 56 airports, subway lines and other such projects nationwide. But fewer than 10 of the infrastructure projects were completed in time for the tournament. Among those delayed was the overpass collapsed in Belo Horizonte.

U.S. coach Klinsmann likes Brazil to win title

No way is Jurgen Klinsmann going against the home Brazilians in this World Cup.

The U.S. coach believes the Selecao are making quite a run at their sixth World Cup championship, even if his homeland of Germany is still in the tournament while the Americans head home.

“Brazil is the No. 1 name to mention because of their talent and their home advantage and the energy they bring into this tournament,” Klinsmann said. “There are other teams that will be difficult to beat. Germany will be difficult to beat. Holland will be difficult to beat.”

Dissapointed Swiss fans get surprise lift

Disheartened Swiss fans returning to Zurich after their country’s 1-0 loss to Argentina could at least take comfort in one parting treat — they were flying home with their beloved team.

Faces perked up at the departure gate moments before boarding when coach Ottmar Hitzfeld and his players strode in. Some stopped to sign autographs and mingled with fans still sporting the team’s red paraphernalia.

On board, the players were greeted with champagne and a Swiss-decorated football was draped in a team scarf. Swiss flags were placed inside the cabin and each player’s name appeared on his designated business class seat.

Fans quickly snapped selfies with the players, and once everyone was seated, the captain of Swiss Air flight LX093 — even before announcing the duration and altitude — welcomed the team aboard and said the country was proud of their valiant effort against the heavily favored Argentines.

Fire department personnel work to retrieve a car from underneath a collapsed bridge Thursday in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. The final death toll is listed at two. / Victor R. Caivano / Associated Press