Rock salt mine collapses in northeastern Brazil

In recent weeks, the ground had subsided by over 2 meters

Published on 11/12/2023 - 09:27 By Agência Brasil - Brasília - Agência Brasil - Brasília

The Civil Defense of Maceió reported that mine No. 18, operated by the Braskem mining company, collapsed on Sunday (Dec. 10). The rupture, occurring around 1:15 p.m., unfolded in the Mundaú Lagoon situated in the Mutange neighborhood, in Alagoas state, in northeastern Brazil.

Fortunately, the entire region was unoccupied, ensuring no immediate risk to the population, as confirmed by the Civil Defense.

Mayor João Henrique Caldas of Maceió shared a broadcast capturing the moment when the mine ruptured, creating a whirlpool in the lagoon's waters.

This disaster is attributed to Braskem's decades-long extraction of rock salt from underground deposits, a type of salt used in the chemical industry.

Serious flaws in Braskem's mining processes led to ground instability, resulting in the need to evacuate at least three neighborhoods in 2020 due to seismic activity compromising building structures.

Recent weeks witnessed ground subsidence exceeding 2 meters, signaling an imminent risk of collapse that had been under close monitoring.

Braskem

In response, Braskem released a statement acknowledging "atypical movement" detected in the lagoon around 1:45 p.m. The company emphasized continuous monitoring of the area and immediate collaboration with authorities upon detecting the movement through their ground monitoring system.

Translation: Mário Nunes -  Edition: Denise Griesinger

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