RIO 2016

Two dead after cycle lane collapses in Rio de Janeiro

A section of the cycling track, which was only inaugurated in January, collapsed and fell into the sea after being hit by a tidal wave, killing two cyclists.

Tragedy has hit Rio de Janeiro just three months before this summer's Olympic Games.

A cycling track which runs through near-vertical cliffs on the San Conrado coastline was unable to withstand a huge tidal wave and a large section of the track collapsed and plummeted into the sea at just after 11am local tuime this morning. Two cyclists who were on the section of the track at the time have been confirmed dead.

A further five cyclists were reported missing but have since been rescued by military police and firefighters helicopters

The cycle track, which was opened in January, connects Leblon, Ipanema and Copacabana beaches with the Oympic City, Barra da Tijuca.

"Where are the engineers who were in charge of this project? How is it possible that a construction of this size and right next to the sea cannot withstand the first storm?", asked economist Cléber Pereira, who was in the district when the tragedy struck and spoke to Brazilian newspaper O Globo.

Construction of the cycle track cost the Rio de Janeiro regional council 10 million euros.

Meanwhile Rio's Olympic stadium, where Athletics heats are due to be staged, has been closed since 2013 due to structural problems affecting the roof.