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Three Die in Collapse of Cement Silo in Brazil

Three Die in Collapse of Cement Silo in Brazil

Source: Latin America Herald Tribune
RIO DE JANEIRO – Three workers were killed and three others injured in the collapse of a cement silo at the construction site of the huge Belo Monte hydroelectric power plant in the Brazilian Amazon, the Belo Monte Construction Consortium, or CCBM, said. 

The accident occurred on Saturday while a truck was delivering cement to the silos in the area where construction materials are stored, the CCBM said.

Three workers at the silo were pulled out and sustained minor injuries.

Emergency services personnel searched the silo’s rubble for the bodies of the other three workers and found them nearly 15 hours after the operation started.

The CCBM’s medical personnel treated the injured workers at the scene of the collapse and then transported them to the city hospital in Altamira.

Para state police are investigating the collapse of the silo, which had the capacity to hold 500 tons of cement.

The consortium’s management will cooperate with the investigation “with all the effort possible,” the CCBM said in a statement.

Construction of Belo Monte, a controversial power project in the middle of the world’s largest rainforest, has been halted several times due to strikes by employees unhappy with working conditions and protests by groups opposed to the hydroelectric plant.

Work on Belo Monte, which will be the world’s third-largest hydroelectric power plant, started in March 2011 in Altamira, a city in Para state, despite opposition from Indians, farmers, fishermen and environmentalists, who fear the project’s impact on the Amazon.

Between 16,000 and 25,000 people had to be moved to make way for the $10.6 billion project, according to different estimates.

Belo Monte is being built on the Xingu River, a tributary of the Amazon, and will flood 506 sq. kilometers (195 sq. miles) of jungle.

The hydroelectric power plant will have average generating capacity of 4,571 MW per hour and will reach peak production of 11,233 MW in the periods when the river rises.

© Latin American Herald Tribune / original article

Date : 01/06/2015