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- A man plummeted 130 feet to his death because of “downright dangerous” practices at a World Cup stadium in Doha on January 19 last year.
- An inquest has heard that Zachary Cox, a 40-year-old from Britain, suffered brain injuries, a broken neck, and was pronounced dead in hospital.
- The death is one of thousands as campaigners predict a massive total death toll before a ball has even been kicked at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
A construction worker plummeted 130 feet to his death at an “inherently unsafe” 2022 FIFA World Cup venue in Doha, Qatar on January 19 last year.
40-year-old Zachary Cox, born in South Africa but living in England, was on a suspended walkway in Doha when the hoist that was supposed to keep him safe at the Khalifa International Stadium snapped and caused him to fall head first.
Cox suffered brain injuries and a broken neck and was pronounced dead in hospital, according to an inquest on Tuesday at Brighton and Hove Coroner’s Court.
Veronica Hamilton-Deeley, the coroner at the inquest, said Cox’s death is a result of “unprofessional” and “downright dangerous” practices at the stadium, according to The Guardian.
“The site managers at the stadium knew or should have known that they were effectively requiring a group of their workers to rely on potentially lethal equipment,” Deeley said. “[The new system] was chaotic, unprofessional, unthinking, and downright dangerous.”
Cox’s death was because decision-makers at the stadium wanted the project sped up. This meant “inherently unsafe” practices were put into place. “The workers were being asked to use equipment that was not fit for purpose,” she ruled. “Horribly simple, really.”
Cox’s death is one of thousands
The Washington Post published a graphic that showed there had been 1,200 deaths at World Cup sites in Qatar. That was in 2015.
Now, three years on, that number has only increased as campaigners fear the total death toll could reach 4,000 before the first World Cup match in the 2022 tournament kicks off.
The Independent cast a spotlight on conditions World Cup site workers endure, calling workers “slaves” because they have to work 72 hour working weeks in the grueling Middle East heat, they sleep on grotty bunk beds, and are rarely paid on time.
Many of them, Cox included, have paid with their lives.