The mining company Vale knew that the areas affected by last week’s landslides were exposed to a possible damn breach, according to a Brazilian newspaper.
So far, 115 people have been confirmed dead after a dam burst and buried parts of the city of Brumadinho in mud. 248 people are still missing after the accident, but there is little hope of finding any of them alive.
The emergency plans of Vale, the owner of the mine, revealed that an office and a restaurant were one kilometer away from the dam if the dam was to break, writes the Folha de São Paulo newspaper. Many of those who lost their lives ate lunch at the restaurant in question when the mud wave took them, according to the newspaper.
The campslide that was triggered when the dam broke, destroyed several of the sirens who were to alert the employees of the accident, and a escape route the company had described as safe, was blocked by mud. At least two employees responsible for notifying accidents died.
The newspaper accuses Vale of underestimating the dangers of a damn breach. The company, in turn, answers that all their damages have contingency plans based on technical investigations and hypothetical situations in the event of a breach.
– The dam had all relevant stabilization certificates and was regularly checked by external, independent companies. There were inspections twice a week, the statement said in the mining company Friday.