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Brazil judge halts work on World Cup stadium after death: media

The Arena Amazonia stadium is under construction to host several 2014 World Cup soccer games, in Manaus December 14, 2013. REUTERS/Bruno Kel
The Arena Amazonia stadium is under construction to host several 2014 World Cup soccer games, in Manaus December 14, 2013. REUTERS/Bruno Kel

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - A Brazilian judge ordered construction to stop on the Arena Amazonia in the jungle city of Manaus, local media said on Sunday, the day after a worker died after falling off the stadium's roof.

Public prosecutors asked for work to halt pending investigations seeking to guarantee workers' safety after the death of Marcleudo de Melo Ferreira, the fifth construction worker to die in stadiums being built to host the 2014 World Cup of soccer in 12 cities.

"As of noon today the work is banned," prosecutor Jorsinei Dourado do Nascimento told Globo News. "The notice has already been delivered."

It was not clear if the order applied to the entire stadium or just the roof.

The regional labor court did not answer phone calls requesting confirmation.

Andrade Gutierrez, the Brazilian firm building the Amazon stadium, could request an injunction to allow work to continue. The company was not immediately available for comment.

Manaus is scheduled to host four World Cup games in June, including high-profile encounters involving teams from England, Italy, the United States and Portugal. The stadium is supposed to be ready by January 15.

Preparations for the competition - the first to be held in South America since 1978 - have been plagued by delays, accidents, cost overruns, and public anger over government waste that contributed to massive nationwide street protests last year.

(Reporting by Caroline Stauffer; Editing by Chris Reese)

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