Two people were killed and another person is missing after a segment of a bike lane built prior to the Rio Olympics this summer collapsed into the sea, reported media in Brazil on April 21.
The Fire Department confirmed the deaths that occurred on the newly-opened pathway called Tim Maia, according to Folha De S. Paolo. A beach vendor said the victims were both men.
The lane is between Niemeyer Avenue and a cliff above water in the neighborhood of Sao Conrado.
The lane measures about 50 meters (54 yards), and was opened in January for the games.
Rio Municipal Secretary Pedro Paulo Carvalho said the elevated bike lane collapsed after being struck by a strong wave.
A witness, who was riding on the bike path, said he saw a large wave hit the slope and three people fall into the water, according to O Globo.
This video uploaded on Twitter shows waves hitting the bike lane after it had already collapsed:
— Lei Seca RJ (@LeiSecaRJ) April 21, 2016
Witnesses uploaded videos and images of the incident on social media:
— Andrew Downie (@adowniebrazil) April 21, 2016
Kiratiana Freelon, a journalist who lives in the city where the bike lane collapsed said she had seen the bike path before and was reluctant to get on it.
“Every time I passed it, I wasn’t going to get on it. It’s literally hanging on the edge of a highway overlooking water,” she said.
“It HAS to be 100% safe,” she added.
The incident happened just hours after the flame for South America’s first games was ignited in Ancient Olympia, the origin of the games. Rio de Janeiro is hosting the Summer Games starting in August 5. The bike lane was among the games’ legacy projects. Although no Olympic event will be held on the path itself, the collapse will most likely add to worries about the Brazil’s preparedness to host the games.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.