At least two people were killed on Thursday when part of a new cycle lane collapsed under crashing ocean waves in the Olympic city of Rio de Janeiro, the city’s fire department said.
Officers from two fire stations and the airborne operations team were called into action on Thursday morning after people fell into the sea, a fire official said in a phone interview.
“The structure collapsed and two male bodies were rescued from the sea. The search operation is still under way.”
Pedro Paulo Carvalho, secretary of the municipal government, said on local television that the cause of the crash was being investigated.
The 50-meter long lane that collapsed skirted the Atlantic coast. It was part of a more than 3 kilometer-long cycle lane opened in January in an urban regeneration project to spruce up the city for the Olympiad from Aug. 5-21.
Video footage shot by Rio residents and posted online showed massive waves crashing up the sea wall and into the new structure.
The incident occurred just hours after the Olympic torch was lit in Greece. The torch will arrive in Brazil on May 3.
Rio will become the first South American city ever to host the Olympics but is struggling with its biggest recession in almost a century and a political crisis that could lead to the impeachment of the president.