Vale, auditor charged over deadly Brazil dam collapse: official

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Belo Horizonte (Brazil) (AFP)

State prosecutors in Brazil on Tuesday charged mining giant Vale, its German auditor and 16 individuals over a massive dam collapse that killed 270 people last year.

The January 25 tailings dam rupture in the southeastern state of Minas Gerais spewed millions of tons of mining waste over houses and farmland in the country's worst industrial accident.

Vale and TUV SUD, which had certified the dam's stability, have been accused of environmental crimes, prosecutors said in a news conference.

The 16 individuals have been charged with intentional homicide and environmental offenses.

TUV SUD said in a statement earlier Tuesday it "remains deeply saddened" by the disaster.

It noted, however, that the "real causes" of the collapse were yet to be determined.