By Vakkas Dogantekin
ANKARA (AA) – A Brazilian Senate panel has indicted 14 people, for the collapse of a dam that killed 250 people last January in the southeastern Minas Gerais province, the country’s official news service, Agencia Brasil reported on Monday.
The dam busted at an iron ore mine owned by the Vale SA -- a Brazilian multinational corporation engaged in metals and mining. The executives of the Vale are also among the indicted.
The inquiry took 120 days and involved 18 public hearings.
A report of the findings will be tabled in the Senate for its voting. The names of indicted people have not been made public.
Officials at the Vale declined to comment, saying there were awaiting official disclosure of the findings.
After the disaster, the multinational company removed the CEO and overhauled its board.
Since the disaster forced the company to set aside billions for compensation and cleanup costs, it has posted a loss of $1.6 billion in the first quarter of 2019.
On May 7, the company president confirmed death of 237 people, saying another 33 were missing. Most of them were the Vale employees.
The disaster also affected agriculture fields, damaging crops worth millions of dollars.
The dam collapse also released around 12 million cubic meters of tailings or mine dump. Experts apprehend that the tailings with metal pieces will be merged into the soil and river bed, thus having potential to affect the region’s ecosystem.