SAINT PETERSBURG • A worker died on Friday when a decades-old sports complex collapsed in the Russian city of Saint Petersburg during a demolition operation, officials said.
The huge facility collapsed as workers were dismantling its roof, dramatic drone footage of the accident showed.
One worker was apparently cutting a piece of concrete at the SKK Peterburgskiy when almost all of the building, built in the 1970s, came crashing down.
The man tried to escape before plunging into the void in a huge cloud of dust, as his colleague watched helplessly from a safety cage. The body of a 29-year-old man was found later in the rubble, the BBC reported.
The man was one of four workers cutting metal cables to dismantle the roof of the sports and concert complex.
The Investigative Committee, which probes major incidents, confirmed that a worker had died and that specialists were trying to determine exactly what happened.
The SKK Peterburgskiy, which was opened in 1980, has hosted concerts and various sports events, and is considered unique because of its 56 columns that held up the structure.
Local activists failed to save the stadium from demolition when their bid to have it declared a historical site was rejected.
The stadium is being reconstructed to host the Ice Hockey World Championship in 2023, and is being billed as the world's largest ice arena.