February 26, 2019 / 12:41 PM / a month ago

Manager at Brazil's Vale told executives of dam risks: newspaper

FILE PHOTO: A helmet with a logo of Vale SA is seen in a collapsed tailings dam owned by the company, in Brumadinho, Brazil February 13, 2019. REUTERS/Washington Alves

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - A manager at Brazilian iron ore miner Vale SA told authorities that the company’s executive board knew there had been a “decrease in security” at the dam that burst in January, killing hundreds, according to a newspaper report on Tuesday.

The manager told authorities he had discussed the dam with his superiors, a columnist at newspaper Folha de S.Paulo reported, without saying how the information was obtained.

Vale denied the report, saying that none of the company’s managers had made statements on a decrease in security at the dam, nor had they said that the company’s board received information suggesting an imminent risk to the structure.

Technical evaluations of the dam had not indicated an immediate risk that it would burst, Vale said in a statement.

In the month since the dam burst in the town of Brumadinho, likely killing over 300 people, prosecutors and media have raised questions about the security measures that were in place to prevent such a burst. Earlier in February, Reuters reported that internal Vale documents showed the dam had an elevated risk of rupture.

The newspaper report did not name the manager or give further details on his or her testimony.

Reporting by Gram Slattery; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Leslie Adler

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