-RIO OLYMPIC EDIFICE COLLAPSES, TWO DEAD
-At least five people were involved, two have since been confirmed dead
-Cause of the accident remains unknown
RIO OLYMPIC EDIFICE COLLAPSESE, TWO DEAD
Just over three months before the Olympic Games kick off in Rio de Janeiro, brazil, Part of a coastal cycleway in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro has collapsed, with at least two people reportedly dead. BBC reports
Witnesses said five people were on the path when about 50m (150ft) crumbl
ed into the shoreline, in late morning local time. Search operations are now under way.
According to Bloomberg, The 44.7 million Reais ($12.7 million) cycle path, which only opened in mid-January, was hit by a strong wave before it collapsed while five people were taking a ride on Thursday, a public holiday in Brazil. Emergency services are at the scene, said a spokeswoman for Rio’s City Hall.
The two people were found dead after falling into the sea, the spokeswoman said. The tragedy highlights concerns over Rio’s readiness for the games that begin Aug. 5.
Earlier this week, a group representing summer Olympic sports federations said they were dismayed by the amount of work left to do before the start of the event.
Since it opened, the cycle path has proved popular with locals and tourists, starting from the posh seaside neighbourhood of Leblon, the route winds around some of the most picturesque stretches of beach in Rio before finishing in the neighbourhood of Sao Conrado. The collapsed section is 800 meters from the end of the path, the spokeswoman said.
The elevated path was built ahead of the Rio Olympics this summer. The cause of the collapse is not yet known.
BBC reports that no events were planned for the bike lane, which opened earlier this year. It was built on metal stilts, next to a seafront road.
An eyewitness, Damiao Pinheiro, told O Globo newspaper (in Portuguese) the waves were “huge”.He said: “People stopped on the bike lane. They were taking pictures of the waves – they were huge. Then I saw the biggest one ever.
“It lifted the cycleway and a piece came off. I saw the people falling. It is really sad.”
Two bodies were recovered from the sea and laid out on the beach.
Ademir Guedes told O Globo he was cycling along the route before being alerted to the danger.
“I thought he was joking. I never imagined a newly built bike path would collapse. I went slowly to the edge of the cliff. Then drivers started shouting at me warning of the risk.”
Rio de Janeiro has committed to linking up all the city’s coastal bike lanes ahead of the Olympic Games.