The collapsed area of the new cycle lane is pictured in Rio de Janeiro.(REUTERS)
The collapsed area of the new cycle lane is pictured in Rio de Janeiro.(REUTERS)

Elevated bike lane for Rio Olympics collapses, killing at least 2

A new elevated bike path that was heralded as a top legacy project of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics collapsed on Thursday, killing at least two people.
By HT Correspondent | AP, Rio De Janeiro
UPDATED ON APR 22, 2016 09:07 PM IST

A new elevated bike path that was heralded as a top legacy project of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics collapsed on Thursday, killing at least two people.

The accident on the Tim Maia bike path was the latest in a series of problems besetting preparations for the August 5-21 games, which include worries about an outbreak of the Zika virus, political turmoil that threatens to topple President Dilma Rousseff, underwhelming ticket sales and budget cuts amid Brazil’s worst recession in decades.

Municipal Secretary Pedro Paulo Carvalho said a third person was thought to be missing after a giant wave apparently swept up a rocky cliff, lifted an approximately 150-foot (50-metre) stretch of the bike path and sent it plunging onto the rocks and sea below.

Rio’s fire department confirmed only the two deaths. Local news media said two other people were rescued alive.

Helicopters fished the two who died out of the water and laid them out on the golden sands of Sao Conrado beach. Initially covered by colourful beach sarongs, they were later shrouded by a sheet of black plastic.

The bodies were left on the sand for hours, and waves periodically washed over them. A crowd of beachgoers gathered around the corpses, while others continued a game of beach soccer nearby. Thursday was a public holiday in Brazil, and with the weather sunny and warm, the city’s bike paths, beaches and other outdoor recreational spots were packed.

Joao Ricardo Tinoco identified one of the victims as his brother-in-law, Eduardo Marinho Albuquerque. He said the 54-year-old father of one was out jogging at the time of the accident. Tinoco’s sister, Eliane, kneeled over the body, kissing his face and begging to be given another moment to “say goodbye” to her husband.

Eliane kisses the body of her husband Eduardo Marinho Albuquerque, 54, who according to relatives, was exercising at a new cycle lane when part of it collapsed under crashing ocean waves, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (REUTERS)
Eliane kisses the body of her husband Eduardo Marinho Albuquerque, 54, who according to relatives, was exercising at a new cycle lane when part of it collapsed under crashing ocean waves, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (REUTERS)

Carvalho said it was too early to tell what caused the accident and said an investigation was underway. Shoddy construction is a perennial problem in Brazil, where graft is a fixture of many construction projects.

“It’s clear that an accident like this is unpardonable,” Carvalho told the Globo television network.

The entire 4-kilometre (2.5-mile) bike path, which links the tony beachfront neighbourhoods of Sao Conrado and Leblon, is now closed, he said.

Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes, who was in Greece for the lighting of the Olympic torch, was quoted in a statement as also calling the accident “unpardonable,” and saying he was flying back to Rio immediately to follow the investigations into its causes.

When the structure was inaugurated, Paes hailed it as “the most beautiful bike path in the world.”

The respected newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo reported that the company that built the bike path is owned by the family of the municipal public works secretary, Antonio Paulo Viegas Figueira de Mello. The report said Concremat was founded by Mello’s grandfather, Mauro Viegas.

A spokeswoman for the company declined to comment on the alleged family connection. She also declined to provide any details about the bike path and could not say whether the company was involved in any other Olympic projects. Concremat’s website was down on Thursday.

“The priorities at the moment are to ensure treatment of the victims and their families and evaluate the causes of the accident,” said the company’s two-sentence statement.

The elevated bike lane has been billed as “the most beautiful” bike path in the world. (AP)
The elevated bike lane has been billed as “the most beautiful” bike path in the world. (AP)

The bike path is perched high above the water on concrete and metal pillars set into a rocky cliff. Inaugurated on January 17 with much fanfare, the 45 million-real ($12.5 million) project was initially heralded as one of the most successful Olympic legacy projects, earning kudos for its spectacular views. But soon detractors began to complain that the brand-new structure was already showing signs of deterioration and that the narrowness of the path made cyclists easy prey for muggers.

The bike path runs parallel to a road high above the sea that will be used for the road-cycling event in the Olympics. Construction is under way to extend the bike path westward to the Barra da Tijuca neighborhood that is one of the Olympic hubs and Carvalho said engineering of that stretch would face extra scrutiny. The Concremat spokeswoman said the company was not building the extension.

In an emailed statement, Rio’s Olympic organisers said “our thoughts and sympathies are with the people and their families and friends affected by the tragic accident.”

The collapse happened just hours after the flame for South America’s first Olympics was kindled at the Greek birthplace of the ancient games. The flame begins a 15-week journey that will culminate with the August 5 opening ceremony in Rio.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
Greek-born Philip, who turns 100 in June, has required hospital treatment several times in the last decade for a recurrence of a bladder infection.(AP / File Photo)
Greek-born Philip, who turns 100 in June, has required hospital treatment several times in the last decade for a recurrence of a bladder infection.(AP / File Photo)

Britain's Prince Philip has successful heart procedure, says palace

Posted by Kunal Gaurav | Reuters, London
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 03:36 PM IST
Philip was admitted to hospital on February 16 after he felt unwell, to receive treatment for an unspecified, but not Covid-19-related, infection.
Close
(FILES) This file photo taken on October 16, 2009 shows Newly named goodwill ambassador of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) French fashion designer Pierre Cardin delivering a speech during the opening session of the World Food Day at the FAO headquarters in Rome. - French fashion designer Pierre Cardin, hailed for his visionary creations but also for bringing stylish clothes to the masses, died on December 29, 2020 aged 98, his family told AFP. Cardin who was born in Italy in 1922 but emigrated to France as a small child, died in a hospital in Neuilly in the west of Paris, his family said. (Photo by Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP)(AFP)
(FILES) This file photo taken on October 16, 2009 shows Newly named goodwill ambassador of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) French fashion designer Pierre Cardin delivering a speech during the opening session of the World Food Day at the FAO headquarters in Rome. - French fashion designer Pierre Cardin, hailed for his visionary creations but also for bringing stylish clothes to the masses, died on December 29, 2020 aged 98, his family told AFP. Cardin who was born in Italy in 1922 but emigrated to France as a small child, died in a hospital in Neuilly in the west of Paris, his family said. (Photo by Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP)(AFP)

World food price index rises in February for ninth month running: FAO

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 03:20 PM IST
  • The Food and Agriculture Organization's food price index, which measures monthly changes for a basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy products, meat and sugar, averaged 116.0 points last month versus a slightly revised 113.2 in January.
Close
"This is part of our regular rebalancing activities. We continue to have strong confidence in our investments in the Taiwan market," a GIC spokeswoman said in an email to Reuters.(Image via Twitter)
"This is part of our regular rebalancing activities. We continue to have strong confidence in our investments in the Taiwan market," a GIC spokeswoman said in an email to Reuters.(Image via Twitter)

Singapore's GIC cashes in on Taiwan stock boom: Sources

Reuters, Taipei
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 03:16 PM IST
Last year the index rose almost 23%, outperforming a 16% rise for Japan and nearly 14% gain for China, Taiwan's largest trading partner.
Close
Nepal PM KP Sharma Oli(Reuters file)
Nepal PM KP Sharma Oli(Reuters file)

Nepal signs peace agreement with communist rebel group

PTI
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 03:11 PM IST
The government agreed to lift a ban on the group, release all their party members and supporters in jail and drop all legal cases against them, while the group agreed to give up all violence and resolve any issues through peaceful dialogue, the government said in a statement after peace talks.
Close
The new guidance was issued jointly by regulators in the UK, Australia, Canada, Singapore and Switzerland.(AP)
The new guidance was issued jointly by regulators in the UK, Australia, Canada, Singapore and Switzerland.(AP)

UK, 4 other countries to fast-track modified Covid-19 vaccines

PTI, London
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 02:35 PM IST
Previously authorized vaccines that are modified to target new variants “will not need a brand new approval or lengthy' clinical studies,” Britain's Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency said in a statement.
Close
Researchers started with older children because they tend to respond to vaccines most similarly to adults. Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg(Bloomberg)
Researchers started with older children because they tend to respond to vaccines most similarly to adults. Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg(Bloomberg)

When will children be able to get Covid-19 vaccines?

AP, New York
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 02:27 PM IST
  • Pfizer and Moderna both have completed enrollment for studies of children ages 12 and older, and expect to release the data over the summer.
Close
Moon Jae In, 64, is expected to beat conservative challenger Hong Joon Pyo, exit polls conducted jointly by three network television stations showed.(Reuters File)
Moon Jae In, 64, is expected to beat conservative challenger Hong Joon Pyo, exit polls conducted jointly by three network television stations showed.(Reuters File)

South Korea's top prosecutor resigns in clash with President Moon Jae-in

Bloomberg
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 02:19 PM IST
  • Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-youl, whose public support has risen in the simmering battle with Moon over prosecutorial powers, told reporters on Thursday at the Supreme Prosecutor’s Office in Seoul that he was stepping down.
Close
Magness worked at ERCOT for more than a decade and became its CEO and president in 2016 after working as its general counsel, the Texas Tribune newspaper reported.(AP file photo)
Magness worked at ERCOT for more than a decade and became its CEO and president in 2016 after working as its general counsel, the Texas Tribune newspaper reported.(AP file photo)

Texas power grid operator ERCOT fires CEO after deadly blackouts

Posted by Harshit Sabarwal | Reuters
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 02:16 PM IST
Bill Magness's departure followed fierce criticism by state lawmakers of the handling of the crisis by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which has led one large electricity provider to seek bankruptcy and put several others near to it.
Close
The Facebook report says the network posted primarily in Thai about news and current events, including content in support of the Thai military and the monarchy.(Reuters)
The Facebook report says the network posted primarily in Thai about news and current events, including content in support of the Thai military and the monarchy.(Reuters)

Thailand probes Facebook's removal of 185 army-linked accounts and groups

AP, Bangkok
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 01:26 PM IST
  • Facebook says the network of accounts originated in Thailand and targeted domestic audiences in its southern provinces, where the army faces a longstanding insurgency movement.
Close
This image made available by the China National Space Administration on Thursday, March 4, 2021, shows a high-resolution photo of the surface of Mars taken by China's Tianwen-1 probe as it orbits the planet in preparation for landing. China says a cohort of astronauts have been selected and are in training to carry out four crewed missions this year as the country works to complete its first permanent orbiting space station. (CNSA via AP)(AP)
This image made available by the China National Space Administration on Thursday, March 4, 2021, shows a high-resolution photo of the surface of Mars taken by China's Tianwen-1 probe as it orbits the planet in preparation for landing. China says a cohort of astronauts have been selected and are in training to carry out four crewed missions this year as the country works to complete its first permanent orbiting space station. (CNSA via AP)(AP)

China is training astronauts for space station crewed flights

AP, Beijing
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 01:20 PM IST
  • China National Space Administration listed 12 astronauts training for the crewed missions.
Close
No information about the nature of the threat was supplied and neither suspect has been named. No charges have yet been laid, police said.(Reuters)
No information about the nature of the threat was supplied and neither suspect has been named. No charges have yet been laid, police said.(Reuters)

New Zealand police arrest 2 for threat to mosques attacked in 2019

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 12:47 PM IST
  • Police said an online threat was made earlier this week against the Al Noor mosque and the Linwood Islamic Centre, which were targeted in New Zealand's most deadly shooting in 2019.
Close
Democrats say they were determined to pass the bill a second time, to combat police brutality and institutional racism after the deaths of Floyd, Breonna Taylor and other Black Americans following interactions with law enforcement.(AP)
Democrats say they were determined to pass the bill a second time, to combat police brutality and institutional racism after the deaths of Floyd, Breonna Taylor and other Black Americans following interactions with law enforcement.(AP)

George Floyd Justice in Policing Act approved by US House; revamps policing

AP, Washington
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 12:44 PM IST
The sweeping legislation, which was first approved last summer but stalled in the Senate, was named in honour of Floyd, whose killing by police in Minnesota last Memorial Day sparked protests nationwide.
Close
In January, Kim Jong Un vowed to enlarge nuclear arsenal and disclosed an array of high-tech weapons systems targeting the United States. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP)(AP)
In January, Kim Jong Un vowed to enlarge nuclear arsenal and disclosed an array of high-tech weapons systems targeting the United States. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP)(AP)

North Korea may be trying to extract plutonium to make more nuclear weapons

AP, Seoul
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 12:16 PM IST
  • Plutonium is one of the two key ingredients to build nuclear weapons along with highly enriched uranium.
Close
US President Joe Biden speaks during a virtual meeting with the House Democratic Caucus in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, DC on March 3, 2021. (Bloomberg)
US President Joe Biden speaks during a virtual meeting with the House Democratic Caucus in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, DC on March 3, 2021. (Bloomberg)

Joe Biden pledges deeper ties in Indo-Pacific, India in national security plan

By Yashwant Raj, Hindustan Times, Washington
UPDATED ON MAR 04, 2021 02:36 PM IST
A 21-page paper - titled ‘Interim National Security Strategic Guidance’ - states the Biden administration’s aim to ‘deepen’ ties with India as a part of its strategy
Close
Trudeau lauded India's tremendous pharmaceutical capacity under PM Modi's leadership(HT_PRINT)
Trudeau lauded India's tremendous pharmaceutical capacity under PM Modi's leadership(HT_PRINT)

'We look forward...': Canada's message after receiving vaccine doses from India

Written by Prashasti Singh, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 10:04 AM IST
Earlier this month, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had reached out to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and requested a shipment of Covid-19 vaccines and PM Modi had assured his Canadian counterpart of full cooperation.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP