Second death confirmed in overpass collapse

Policemen walk around a bridge that had collapsed onto vehicles in Belo Horizonte, July 4, 2014....

Policemen walk around a bridge that had collapsed onto vehicles in Belo Horizonte, July 4, 2014. (REUTERS/Washington Alves)

Sun Wire Services

, Last Updated: 11:22 PM ET

Rescue workers pulled a body from the wreckage of a collapsed highway overpass in the Brazilian World Cup host city of Belo Horizonte early on Friday, confirming a second death in an accident that has cast a shadow over the soccer tournament.

The bridge, which was still under construction, is located about two miles (3 km) from Mineirao stadium, where World Cup games are being played. It collapsed on Thursday afternoon as vehicles were passing on a busy road underneath.

Rescue workers removed a car that had been pinned under the rubble at 5:30 a.m. (8:30 GMT) on Friday, finding one body in it, the city's fire department told Reuters. On Thursday a bus driver was killed behind the wheel after being crushed by the falling structure.

Twenty-two people were injured in the accident, including several construction workers, the spokesman said.

The collapsed overpass stretched over one of the major thoroughfares connecting the stadium area with the international airport. It was to have been part of a Bus Rapid Transit system that officials had promised would be ready for the World Cup.

QUICK FIX FOR CAMEROON

The Cameroon Football Federation has promised a swift outcome to its investigation into allegations that seven of the country's players were involved in a World Cup match-fixing scandal after FIFA poured cold water on the claims.

FECAFOOT said on Friday it had written to German magazine Der Spiegel which reported it had interviewed a convicted match-fixer who correctly predicted the score and a sending off in Cameroon's game against Croatia at the finals in Brazil.

But Wilson Raj Perumal, who allegedly made the predictions in an interview with the German publication and said seven players were involved, has since claimed the interview took place after Croatia's 4-0 win on June 18 in Manaus.

Cameroon midfielder Alex Song was sent off before halftime for a needless elbow in the back of Croatia's Mario Mandzukic near the halfway line, leaving his side to battle with 10 men for the majority of their second Group A game.

LOEW’S LID ON

There were no wild celebrations or congratulatory backslaps for Germany after they beat France 1-0 in the quarter-finals on Friday to become the first country to reach the semi-finals at four successive World Cups.

While Germany coach Joachim Loew acknowledged his country's amazing feat, he was also keen to keep a lid on expectations, knowing full well the bittersweet end results of his team's previous World Cup adventures.

Despite making the semi-finals at each of the last three World Cups, Germany's incredible consistency remains tarnished by the fact they failed to go on and win those tournaments - something Loew is keen to make amends for this time.

"In the last four World Cups, we have been in the last four permanently, so that is quite a performance," said Loew. "Now, we will try to make the next step. I think we have the intrinsic qualities to do that."

"Titles are marvelous," he added when pressed about his team's recent record of near-misses. "And many of our players from Bayern Munich have already conquered the Champions League so that is important for them but for us, first and foremost, it's a matter of playing the semi-finals."

The last time Germany won the World Cup was in 1990. They were beaten in the 2002 final then the semi-finals in 2006 and 2010.

FRANCE MISSED CHANCE

France coach Didier Deschamps said missed chances and a lack of big-game experience among his players gave Germany a vital edge to knock Les Bleus out of the World Cup.

France impressed earlier in the competition by cruising through their group matches and beating Nigeria 2-0 in the first knock-out round.

But on Friday they were short of ruthlessness in front of goal as they tried to wipe out an early lead taken by Germany when defender Mats Hummels scored with a header from a Toni Kroos free-kick.

That proved enough to give Germany a 1-0 win in the quarter-final played at the Maracana, the third time in a row that they have beaten France at the World Cup.

"We didn't have the efficiency that you need as this level, especially after Germany went ahead," Deschamps said.

The former France captain, who lifted the World Cup trophy in 1998, said he was looking forward to building on what has been a remarkable turnaround from France's ignominious exit in the first round of the 2010 World Cup.


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