Three employers of mining firm Vale have been arrested alongside two contractors working for the firm following the fatal breach on Friday of Dam I of the Córrego do Feijão mine, in the city of Brumadinho, Minas Gerais, Brazil. 

According to reports from Reuters, as a criminal investigation begins into the tragedy which could claim more than 300 lives, two senior managers at the mine were arrested today along with another employee at the company and two engineers who worked on behalf of Vale.

In a statement Vale said it was cooperating fully with investigators on the case.


• Yesterday the company announced details of how it aims to mitigate the impacts caused by the breach through new emergency measures, as well as financial and psychological support for the families of those affected.

To contain sediments from the mud, the company announced a project for the construction of dikes surrounding the mine in Brumadinho and hired the project designer who worked in Samarco's dam breach case. The team conducted a field inspection to go over the details of the project. As a preventive measure set to start today, Vale will install a sediment retention barrier close to the water body supplying the city of Pará de Minas, approximately 40 km from Brumadinho. "Our goal is to prevent any interruption to the municipal water supply," explained Finance and Investor Relations executive director Luciano Siani Pires. Other measures included a field inspection along the Paraopeba river together with Samarco's team to define details for the construction of a sediment control barrier.

Vale said it will donate one hundred thousand reais to the families of each missing person/confirmed fatality, regardless of whether or not they are Vale employees. "This has nothing to do with indemnification, which needs to be sorted out together with the authorities," said Siani Pires.

Vale will also hire a specialized team from the Albert Einstein hospital in São Paulo to assist the families of those affected by the incident. The team comprising experts in trauma, grief and disaster will be joining the 100 health professionals of the company that are currently working on the site.