Brasilia: Rio de Janeiro authorities on Friday promised an independent probe into the deadly collapse of a clifftop bicycle path that killed at least two people and embarrassed the city ahead of the Olympics.
“We want a completely open, technical evaluation of the accident. We’ll determine the responsibilities wherever they are,” deputy mayor Pedro Paulo Carvalho said in a statement.
The coastal section of bike path collapsed after being hit by a large wave Thursday. Rescue crews were searching for a third person who was missing and feared dead.
It was a setback for Rio just over 100 days from opening the Olympic Games on August 5. The bicycle path was part of a $12.6 million extension being touted as integral to the revamping of the city’s tired infrastructure, especially in transport.
The doomed section runs along sheer rock and is held up by pillars that survived the waves, while the cycling surface was lifted up.
Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes, a potential 2018 presidential hopeful who has raised his profile through the Olympics, said the accident was “unforgivable.”
“I ordered an immediate investigation and I am returning to Brazil to follow this closely,” he said Thursday from Greece, where he was attending the lighting of the Olympic torch.
The lane runs along Niemeyer Avenue, a road that leads to the Olympic Village in Rio’s Barra da Tijuca neighborhood.
The company that built the path, Contemat-Concrejato, sent technicians to the site to investigate.