Nacho Doce / Reuters
A man takes a picture of a crane that collapsed on the site of the Arena Sao Paulo stadium, which will host the opening soccer match of the 2014 World Cup, in Sao Paulo on Wednesday.
At least two people were killed and one injured Wednesday after a structure collapsed at a Brazilian soccer stadium set to host the opening match of the World Cup next year.
The Sao Paulo stadium, formally called Arena Corinthians but known locally as Itaquerao for the area where it is located, has been undergoing an extensive refurbishment and faced a tight deadline set by soccer's international governing body FIFA to get the work done.
Television images showed that part of a 500-ton metal structure cut through the outer walls of Sao Paulo's Itaquerao Stadium, destroying some of the seats on the east side of the venue and crashing into a massive LED panel that runs across the stadium's facade.
Former Corinthians President Andres Sanchez told a news conference that two people were confirmed dead. Local media reported a third person was hospitalized in serious condition. A fire department official had said earlier that three people had died.
The two people were killed when a crane collapsed over a vehicle they were sitting in. Authorities say they do not expect the death toll to rise since the accident happened at lunchtime and not many workers were on site.
Work at the stadium will be suspended for 30 days.
The accident will further delay completion of the estimated $360 million stadium, which was practically finished before Wednesday's collapse. FIFA has set a December deadline for all 12 World Cup venues to be ready.
The stadium will seat nearly 70,000 people for the World Cup opener on June 12, when Brazil will play. About 20,000 seats will be temporary and installed only for the World Cup.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.