Bone fragments found at Brumadinho dam collapse site

Bone fragments Brumadinho site Rodrigo S Coelho / Shutterstock
“Isn’t life worth anything?,” question family members of the victims of the Brumadinho disaster. Photo: Rodrigo S. Coelho/Shutterstock

Over three years after a tailings dam collapsed in Brumadinho, Minas Gerais, killing 270 people, firefighters found bone fragments at the site of the tragedy. The material was sent to forensics and there is hope that one of the six still-missing victims will be identified. The last time rescue teams found a body in the region was in October 2021.

On January 25, 2019, a dam owned by mining giant Vale, Brazil’s largest mining company and a global leader in iron ore production, collapsed, burying hundreds of people in toxic sludge.

Last week, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charged Vale for “making false and misleading claims about the safety of its dams prior to the January 2019 collapse of its Brumadinho dam.”

The SEC complaint says the company manipulated multiple dam safety audits dating back to 2016, thanks to “fraudulent stability certificates” and a strategy to “regularly mislead local governments, communities, and investors” through its environmental, social, and governance (ESG) disclosures.

The Brumadinho disaster occurred just three years after the collapse of another dam partially owned by Vale, in Mariana, also in Minas Gerais. The Brazilian Report did an in-depth report on the case in 2018.