Brazil was in mourning today after an overpass collapsed in Belo Horizonte, reportedly killing two people.
The overpass, which was under construction, collapsed onto another road trapping vehicles including a bus, which was said to be empty apart from the female driver – who was one of those who died.
The incident happened about 2.5miles from the Estadio Mineirao which is hosting the first semi-final of the World Cup next week.
Brazilian media quoted a Fire Department spokesman that one person has been confirmed to have died and 19 taken to hospital with injuries, with City government officials saying another casualty has also died.
City officials have launched an investigation into the causes of the collapse.
The incident was about three miles from the Minas Tennis Club where the British Olympic and Paralympic teams will have their training base ahead of the Rio 2016 Olympics.
Brazil president Dilma Rousseff expressed her shock at the collapse on Twitter.
She wrote: “It is with sadness that we learn of the collapse of the viaduct in Belo Horizonte. In this moment of pain, we lend our support to the families of the victims. The government will help Belo Horizonte and the authorities with whatever it needs.”
The collapse of the overpass cast a shadow over Brazil’s World Cup quarter-final against Colombia in Fortaleza on Friday.
Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari was in a defiant mood on the eve of the game, lashing out at the critics who have been unimpressed with his team’s performances so far.
Brazil were criticised for some unconvincing play in the group stages and they only scraped through to the last eight after a nail-biting penalty shootout win against Chile.
But Scolari insisted his team were destined to win the World Cup before the tournament started and he is sticking by his words.
”Do we have one hand on the Cup? Yes,” the Brazil coach said in a fiery press conference on the eve of the match.
”Don’t forget those statements (I made about winning the World Cup before it started). They were all fantastic. Those statements could not be any different now. We are going on to the fifth step now. There are seven in total.”
Colombia have won just two of their previous 25 matches against the Selecao, last beating them in the group stage of the Copa America in 1991.
That said, the four most recent meetings have all ended in draws, while Los Cafeteros are unbeaten in their last 11 matches.
“The key is not to think of prior situations,” Colombia coach Jose Pekerman said. “The team always tries to look ahead.
“We know for Colombia each match is a new challenge and a new demanding opponent. We cannot think about the past, both for us and Brazil. In Brazil, you must always believe in its football, its players, so we must do our thing, play our match in keeping with what we’ve done so far.
“But the key is not to feel that there is a favourite, that the match has certain facilities. On the contrary, to take it as we have taken each one of the opponents so far.”