A construction worker has been killed while working on Sao Paulo’s monorail system, just three days before the World Cup opener in the same city.

The man, Juraci Cunha, was struck by a beam that collapsed as he worked on a stretch of the city’s planned monorail system.

Two other workers were injured in the same accident.

The accident occurred near the city’s Congonhas airport which will serve thousands of visitors when the World Cup gets under way on Thursday.

The delayed monorail project was supposed to be open before the start of the 32-nation soccer tournament.

The infrastructure plan is one of several ventures delayed or scrapped ahead of the World Cup.

Subway workers in the city, meanwhile, voted last night to suspend their strike pending a further meeting on Wednesday.

They have warned the stoppage could resume when the Brazillian city hosts the World Cup kick-off on Thursday, which will see Brazil take on Croatia at Sao Paolo’s Arena Corinthians.   

A statement from a meeting of metro union workers said: “On the 11th we shall hold an assembly with a strike set for the 12th.

“Whether we put down tools or not will depend on the re-hiring of the 42 workers fired for joining the protest.”

Riot police used tear gas against protesters in the city yesterday who were demonstrating in support of the subway workers’ strike.

The protesters set fire to piles of rubbish to block a central street in the Brazilian business hub, prompting police to fire stun grenades and then tear gas to disperse them.

Police also used a stun grenade to break up a separate demonstration by about 70 striking workers.

Eight people have died during the building or refurbishing of the 12 venues scheduled to host the month-long tournament.

Three of these incidents happened in the building of the Arena Corinthians.