The Associated Press is reporting that Rio de Janeiro's Maracanã, Brazil's most storied soccer stadium and the location of the 2014 World Cup final, could be a disaster waiting to happen. One Brazilian photographer captured footage of a major Maracanã stairway, which most of the site's 79,000 fans use to enter and exit the stadium, swaying under their weight. Fans definitely noticed.
"When people walk on it the wood moves, so with thousands of people walking up there, there could be an accident," Jorge Martinez, a Mexican systems engineer who used the stairs to leave Sunday night's game, told the AP. Fans were so scared, and the stairs were wobbling so much, that they had to grab the rails to support themselves.
The AP has more:
But fans who used it when it wobbled questioned why a more permanent staircase wasn't constructed out of concrete to ensure their safety. On the other side of Maracana, a separate entrance for VIPs is all concrete, Juan Miranda of Chile said as he sat on the wooden staircase trying to buy tickets for Wednesday's game between Chile and Spain. He said he saw construction workers soldering the scaffolding holding up the wooden staircase Tuesday morning.
"You can see that VIP ramp and it's real good, but over here where almost everyone goes in, the entrance and exit is defective and unsafe," said Miranda, an electrician. "There isn't even any information about its capacity. Tomorrow there's going to be a sea of people here so I'm going to arrive early to be safe."
The Brazilian government said in a statement that the staircase has since been inspected and reinforced for safety.
Photo Credit: Getty