Seven charged over Samarco dam disaster

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Samarco damImage source, Getty Images

Brazilian authorities have charged the president of mining company Samarco and six others with homicide for the mining disaster that killed 19 people last November.

Police in Minas Gerais State have asked for Ricardo Vescovi, along with five other Samarco executives and one contractor to be arrested.

Samarco is owned by Brazil's Vale and mining giant BHP Billiton.

On Tuesday police presented the first official report into the incident.

A dam associated with the mine burst in the town of Mariana , flooding with mud villages nearby and causing significant environmental damage to a major river.

The report concluded that the accident was caused by excess water in the dam, lack of proper monitoring, faulty equipment and failure in the drainage system.

It discarded the possibility of any minor earthquakes during the incident.

The police report also said that Samarco's emergency plan to warn nearby villagers was insufficient.

Samarco did not comment on the report.

The incident on 5 November last year was the worst mining accident in Brazil's history.