A Brazilian state judge on Tuesday ordered mining giant Vale to pay for all the damage caused by a tailings dam collapse that killed hundreds of people in one of the country's worst industrial accidents.
Judge Elton Pupo Nogueira in the southeastern state of Minas Gerais, where the January 25 disaster happened, did not quantify the amount of money, but said 11 billion reais ($2.89 billion) of assets belonging to Vale would remain frozen.
"It was not possible to quantify only by technical and scientific criteria," the court said in a statement on its website, describing the ruling as the "first conviction" against Vale over the rupture.
The definition of value "is not limited to the deaths resulting from the event, as it also affects the local and regional environment, as well as the economic activities carried out in the affected areas."
Ten towns in southeast Brazil are suffering river pollution after a dam collapse at a mine nearly three weeks ago that killed 166 people and left 155 missing, presumed dead, according to officials.
Newly released CCTV footage shows the horrifying moment a mining dam in Brazil collapsed catastrophically, leaving more than 300 people dead or missing. The colossal disaster happened on January 25 in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais.
The company that owns the ore mine where a dam broke killing 34 people has been ordered to pay a fine of $66 million, one of the biggest environmental penalties in Brazil’s history. Dozens of people are still missing.
Seven bodies have been found and more than a hundred people remain missing after a dam operated by the mining giant Vale collapsed in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, releasing a wave of red iron ore waste and raising fears of widespread contamination.
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