Eight employees of the Brazilian mining giant Vale have been arrested as part of the criminal investigation into the breaking of a dam last month. The breaking of the Feijao dam, which was used to collect mining waste, killed at least 166 people in the town of Brumadinho. 147 are still missing. Four people from the German consulting group Tüv Süd were also detained. The arrests were carried out in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte.
Two of the arrested are Vale executives. They will all be questioned by investigators in Belo Horizonte. Tüv Süd carried out an audit in September last year which found the dam met legal requirements.
But earlier this week, an internal report seen by the Reuters news agency said the Brazilian mining company knew the dam was at risk as it was told the site breached guidelines months before it collapsed.
Vale, which is the world's top iron ore miner, said the report was misleading as there was no evidence of imminent risk. The collapse of the dam was the second major mining disaster in the region since 2015 when a nearby dam co-owned by Vale collapsed.
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