Five years on from the Brumadinho dam disaster

January 25, 2024

On 25 January 2019, a dam collapsed in Brumadinho, Brazil. The disaster killed 272 people and nearly 12 million cubic metres of toxic mud cascaded through local communities and into water systems.

Despite the clear warnings about the dam’s stability, German company TÜV SÜD’s subsidiary had certified the dam as safe. Operations continued which ultimately led to the disaster.

On the fifth anniversary, victims of the Brumadinho disaster travelled more than 9,000km to Munich, to demand justice at TÜV SÜD’s headquarters, hand in a letter and read the names of the 272 fatal victims. 

Among the victims was Karine Naiara Silva Carneiro Andrade who lost her sister, Natália in the tragedy.

“We have come to TÜV SÜD with a simple message – stop stalling and give us justice.”

Karine Naiara Silva Carneiro Andrade

Victims of the Brumadinho disaster deliver a letter to TÜV SÜD’s headquarters in Munich demanding justice


Karine continued: “Five years ago, our lives were turned upside down in a way we will never fully recover from. We are here today asking to be seen, heard, for the pain we are suffering to be understood. We are asking for our fellow claimants to receive the compensation they deserve.”  

Guy Robson, Partner at Pogust Goodhead who was at the event in Munich said: “Today, on the fifth anniversary of the Brumadinho dam disaster, as we reflect on the loss and suffering that continues to affect so many, our clients want TÜV SÜD to reflect on where it stands.”

“The tragedy in Brumadinho has left a deep scar on the local environment. It has also left an equally deep scar on our clients who can’t get the closure they deserve as TÜV SÜD tries to drag out proceedings. TÜV SÜD has refused to compensate our clients since the dam collapsed five years ago. They should now do the right thing and bring this ongoing suffering to an end.” 

“Five years on our clients continue to grapple with the profound impacts of this catastrophic event. In our pursuit of justice on behalf of our clients, we remain deeply troubled by the prolonged struggle for compensation from TÜV SÜD. It is disheartening that, even after five years, the path to justice and fair compensation remains elusive for our clients.”


Bruna Ficklscherer, Legal Director at Pogust Goodhead said: “TÜV SÜD’s role in this disaster cannot be understated. The delay in compensating those affected only adds to the anguish and frustration of the victims. We continue to call for accountability and transparency in the legal proceedings, urging TÜV SÜD to expedite the compensation process.” 

Alongside Manner Spangenberg, we are representing victims of the disaster in their case against TÜV SÜD in Munich. We will continue fighting for justice for the victims whose lives and livelihoods were ripped apart by the Brumadinho disaster. 

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