(MINAS GERAIS, Brazil.) Court Report: Vale SA Disaster: State judge convicts mining company for damages caused by deadly rupture that killed 240-people at the tailings dam: No reference was made to compensation and the 11 billion reais ($2.89 billion) in Vale assets already frozen by courts will remain blocked, the court said #AceNewsDesk reports

#AceNewsReport – July.10: A Brazilian state judge has convicted mining company Vale SA for damages caused by the deadly rupture of a tailings dam that killed at least 240 people in January: Judge Elton Pupo Nogueira ruled that Vale was responsible for fixing all the damages, although he did not set a monetary value for compensation, the Minas Gerais state court said on its website: “[It] is still not possible to quantify solely by technical-scientific criteria,” the statement said: The value “will not be limited to the dead, but also effects on the local and regional environment, in addition to economic activity in the affected regions”, the statement quoted Judge Nogueira as saying.

In a statement, Vale said it reaffirmed its “total commitment to fair and quick reparations for the damages caused to families, community infrastructure and the environment” ………….The 11 billion reais ($2.89 billion) in Vale assets already frozen by courts will remain blocked, the court said: The dam containing mining waste at a Vale facility in the town of Brumadinho collapsed on January 25, burying workers, residents and huge swaths of the environment in red-brown sludge: Footage showed the exact moment the mine dam burst, sending a torrent of waste from the Corrego do Feijao iron ore mine down the hillside into the valley: Local television showed a firefighters’ helicopter hovering inches off the ground as it pulled people covered in mud out of the sludge, while photos showed rooftops of structures poking above an extensive field of the mud, which also cut off roads.

A helicopter hovers over rescue workers searching through muddy sludgePhoto: Hundreds were buried beneath muddy sludge following the dam’s rupture. (AP: Andre Penner/Brazil)

Offers of recompense from Vale at the time largely fell on deaf ears, with the company saying it would do all it could — including offering money to mourners, paying extra tax to local government, investments to make dams safer and offering a special membrane to remove mud from the river: Residents in the devastated town of Brumadinho were unmoved, watching in shock and anger as one dead body after another was pulled from the mud: “Vale is destroying Minas Gerais,” said Robinson Passos at the time, who lost a cousin and friends in the disaster: “There’s anger, sadness, everything.”

A group of Brazilian rescuers watch a body being airlifted in a red bag in a field with mounds of brown mud and dirt.Photo: Firefighters watch the body of a person they pulled from the mud, during the Brazilian dam collapse in January 2019. (AP: Leo Correa)

#AceNewsDesk report …………..Published: July.10: 2019: Photo: The dam collapse prompted a massive backlash from the Brazilian public. (AP: Silvia Izquierdo) ABC/wires

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