Three die in cement silo collapse in Brazil


Updated Wed, 03 Jun 2015 15:34:02 GMT

Brazil: Three workers were killed and three others injured in the collapse of a cement silo on 30 May 2015 at the construction site of the Belo Monte hydroelectric power plant in the Brazilian Amazon. The accident occurred while a truck was delivering cement to the silos in the area where construction materials are stored, according to the Belo Monte Construction Consortium (CCBM).

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 and then transported them to the city hospital in Altamira. Pará State police are investigating the collapse of the 500t capacity silo. The consortium's management will cooperate with the investigation 'with all the effort possible,' said the CCBM.

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, Pará, despite opposition from 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 US$10.6bn project, according to different estimates. Belo Monte is being built on the Xingu River, a tributary of the Amazon and will flood 506km2 of jungle. The hydroelectric power plant will have an average generating capacity of 4571MWhr and will reach peak production of 11,233MW in the periods when the river rises.