Charges Filed in Rio Olympic Park Camera Accident

(ATR) Those responsible were charged with bodily injury from failing to prevent the safety of the camera.

(ATR) Rio Civil police charged five people as part of an investigation into an accident involving a camera in the Olympic Park.

The investigation, carried out by Rio’s Civil Police, looked into responsibility for an overhead camera that fell in the Park injuring seven people. The investigation determined that CAMCAT - Systems Gmbh, a sub-contractor of Olympic Broadcasting Services, was responsible for the camera. OBS serves as the host-broadcaster for the Olympic Games, and the camera provided overhead shots of the Olympic Park.

According to a statement given to Around the Rings Alexsander Brozec, Daniel Goestch, John Arthur Pearce, Thomas Schindler and André Mendonça Furtado Mattos were charged bodily injury from failing to prevent the safety of the camera. Brozec, Goestch, and Schindler are technicians at CAMCAT, Pearce is an engineer at OBS, and Mattos is the general manager for facilities at the Olympic Park.

The statement said that the individuals involved did not plan proper safety measures for fixing equipment and for the large crowds the Olympic Park would face. Contractors chose not to inspect suspended cameras, or support cables, after cables broke. In addition, contractors waited until the cover of darkness to remove all affected equipment rather than fixing them on the spot, civil police said.

"Considering the height that the equipment was installed, as well as its weight and size, the fall could have caused the death of one of the victims, which fortunately did not occur," the statement added.

Civil police delegate Carolina Salomão said in the statement the individuals "had a duty to prevent the result" as was stipulated in the contract.

"Thus, failing to take the measures that should be taken for the safety of all, and for which they had been hired, gave way to the result that was extremely predictable," Salomão added. "When the first cable of the camera system ruptured, causing it to remain suspended improperly, they were not able to execute an emergency plan, even one improvised, so that the people who traveled in that place were safe. "

OBS, in a statement to Around the Rings, defended its practices, and said the accident was caused by a cable being severed by a third party.

"All reports also indicate that each of the cables independently was able to sustain several times the weight of the camera and that the cables could not have broken as a result of its normal operation," the statement from OBS read. "Expert reports have also confirmed that the system was properly designed and installed."

The statement says that multiple cables that were cut that day could have been due to kites in the area. The kites present are known as "linhas" and are treated with abrasive materials, in an attempt to cut through ropes in other kites. OBS said that there were visual reports of "linhas" in the Olympic Park area the day of the accident.

OBS reiterated the company was also not in charge of safety protocols at the Olympic Park. Those responsibilities would fall to the Rio 2016 organizing committee. During the Games when visitors were in the Park OBS says it"followed diligently all [Rio 2016's] procedures and directives."

"The company would expect after examining the forensic reports, that investigations should be focused in finding and bringing to justice those responsible for this act and identifying those responsible for such a severe security breach in an area immediately adjacent to the Olympic Park," the statement continued.

"OBS reaffirms its full confidence in the Brazilian Judicial system and its independence and is convinced that it will be able to shed light on this matter."

Written by Aaron Bauer

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