Brazil police arrest eight people in Vale dam disaster
Brazilian police arrested eight employees of mining company Vale SA as part of a criminal investigation into the causes of the deadly dam disaster in the town of Brumadinho, state prosecutors said on Friday, Trend reports referring to Reuters.
The police were also carrying out 14 search warrants as part of the probe, prosecutors in the mining state of Minas Gerais said.
The arrests and search warrants target employees of Vale, operator of the tailings dam that collapsed last month, as well as employees of German auditing firm TUV SUD that had certified the dam as stable.
Authorities in the state of Sao Paulo, Minas Gerais and Rio de Janeiro are involved in the operation, state prosecutors said.
All eight Vale employees arrested were responsible for the security and stability of the Brumadinho dam. They will remain in prison for 30 days, prosecutors said.
The Jan. 25 disaster killed more than 160 people. Vale said in a statement it is cooperating with authorities.
Chief Executive Officer Fabio Schvartsman said on Thursday, in response to questions from lawmakers, that the company’s safety procedures had not worked.
Tailings are the mud-like byproducts, including finely groundrock particles, left over from mining and extracting resources.