French manufacturer Alstom sentenced in Brazil for the collapse of a metro project in 2007

The accident on the construction site of a metro line in Sao Paulo left seven dead and destroyed dozens of buildings.


Reading time: 1 min

Firefighters and rescue workers after the collapse of a metro line construction site in Sao Paulo (Brazil), January 16, 2007. (MAURICIO LIMA / AFP)

The accident killed seven people in Brazil in 2007. The French manufacturer Alstom was sentenced, along with other companies and officials, to a collective fine of nearly 45 million euros (240 million reais) by a Brazilian court for a collapse on the construction site of a metro line in Sao Paulo, according to a decision of which AFP became aware on Saturday February 17.

In detail, six people, at the time responsible for the metro management company, and seven companies involved in the project, are deemed responsible for a “administrative misconduct” leading to the collapse. The decision of the Court of Justice of the State of Sao Paulowhich can be appealed, also prohibits convicted officials from working in the public sector and companies involved from contracting public contracts in Brazil for five years.

“A dangerous” and “negligent” approach

On January 12, 2007, workers were carrying out excavation work for the Pinheiros metro station when a sinkhole opened, swallowing part of a nearby road. More than 90 buildings had to be demolished or condemned. Despite signs of structural weakness at the tunnel site, “the drilling was carried out in an already fragile location, and the necessary support structures were not immediately installed”according to the judge, for whom “this approach turned out to be not only dangerous, but also negligent”.

Other sanctioned companies include Brazilian construction and engineering giants OAS (now Grupo Metha), Queiroz Galvao, Camargo Correa and CBPO, a subsidiary of Odebrecht (now Novonor). Contacted by AFP, the companies have not yet reacted.

source site-21