RIO DE JANEIRO, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) -- Brazil's Federal Police charged on Friday mining giant Vale and consulting company TUV SUD and 13 of their employees over the deadly Brumadinho tailings dam collapse earlier this year.
The 13 employees were charged with forgery and fraud in the case of the dam collapse.
In this phase of investigations, the Federal Police is focusing on the falsification of documents, which allowed the mining operation at Brumadinho to remain open.
There were reports and studies attesting the risk of collapse, but later documents attesting the operation's safety were forged and contracts were signed using falsified information.
The Federal Police will also investigate the actual collapse of the dam and may later charge Vale, TUV SUD and Vale's directors and other workers for a number of other crimes, including hundreds of counts of murder.
A total of 249 people were killed in the dam collapse on Jan. 25, and 21 people remain missing till today. There was extensive damage not only to the land, as a wave of mud travelled down the valley and into the nearby river, inevitably contaminating it.