One year after Vale dam break, pain runs deep in Brazil mine disaster town

By Pablo Garcia BRUMADINHO, Brazil (Reuters) - Exactly one year ago a tailings dam in the Brazilian town of Brumadinho collapsed, killing more than 250 people in one of the world's worst mining disasters. For survivors and relatives of the victims still searching for answers and justice, time has been no healer. 'It's the same today as it was the day of the tragedy.

Reuters January 26, 2020 00:10:10 IST
One year after Vale dam break, pain runs deep in Brazil mine disaster town

One year after Vale dam break pain runs deep in Brazil mine disaster town

By Pablo Garcia

BRUMADINHO, Brazil (Reuters) - Exactly one year ago a tailings dam in the Brazilian town of Brumadinho collapsed, killing more than 250 people in one of the world's worst mining disasters.

For survivors and relatives of the victims still searching for answers and justice, time has been no healer.

"It's the same today as it was the day of the tragedy. The same feeling of pain, betrayal, loss," said Rafaela Cavalcante Andrade, who lost her sister in the tragedy.

"My sister was a person who loved life. She didn't deserve this. 365 days later, the feeling is the same."

Brazilian state prosecutors this month charged Fabio Schvartsman, Vale SA's former chief executive, and 15 other people with homicide, according to the charging document seen by Reuters.

Responding to the charges, Vale said it was "perplexed by the accusations of willful misconduct," while a representative for Schvartsman pointed out that a federal police report on the matter was not due until June.

A panel of experts appointed by the Vale's lawyers concluded in December that the dam collapse was partially triggered by "a persistently high water level" that caused the structure to lose strength and stability, and that there was no warning the dam was unstable.

Andresa Rodrigues, who insists her 26-year-old son Bruno Rocha Rodrigues was "murdered by Vale", says there can be no recompense for her loss.

"The last year has been one of pain, regret and sadness, revolt and indignation. There's no compensation. All the mitigation efforts have been nowhere near enough to ease the pain," she said.

(Reporting by Pablo Garcia in Brumadinho, writing by Jamie McGeever in Brasilia, Editing by Franklin Paul)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.