The municipality of Itapecerica da Serra reported today (21) that the container company Multiteiner was banned after the collapse that took place yesterday (20) and which caused the death of nine people.
“The company is already banned. She needs to be banned. If there was a landslide and it continued to function, it would once again be irregular. The inspection has already been there and banned it”, said this Wednesday Leonel Novais, municipal secretary of Planning and Environment. According to him, the period of interdiction is indefinite.
The accident, which took place around 8:55 am yesterday (20) at one of the company’s headquarters, on Estrada Ferreira Guedes, caused the death of nine people. Another 28 people needed to be taken to hospitals in the region and three were slightly injured.
According to the São Paulo Public Security Department, a wall located inside the company’s auditorium had collapsed. At the time of the incident, about 64 people were at the scene participating in a meeting with politicians. One of the politicians was Jones Donizetti, candidate for state deputy for Solidarity, who was injured in the accident. In his social networks, the politician reported that he was invited to meet the company and was saying goodbye to the workers when part of the concrete structure of the auditorium where they were broke, leaving them trapped in the rubble.
“There was a pre-assembled slab and, in particular, it was a training auditorium,” said Novais. According to the secretary, the city still does not know who organized the event, filling an area that was intended to be just a training place. “It was a great irresponsibility of those who had the courage to do this event. It’s one thing for you to climb ten people [na estrutura]. Another thing is to go up 100 or 200 people at once. We have to seek to hold accountable who asked for and who organized this event,” she said.
“An important detail is that whoever organized the event, who planned the event, did not have the slightest concern to pay attention to the security issues of the place because they put a significant number of people at once. Detail: for an event of this magnitude to happen in Itapecerica, it was necessary to submit an authorization request so that we could inspect and give authorization for the event. But none of that happened: neither on the part of the company nor on the part of the organizers”, added the secretary.
Today, during a press conference, the director of Civil Defense of Itapecerica da Serra, Josiel de Almeida, said that, right after the meeting in the auditorium, which was on a kind of mezzanine, the employees went to meet in an area destined for coffee, which was next door. And that’s when the structure collapsed. “Based on information from who was inside the building, after the meeting people focused on the cafe location. And in this excessive concentration, the floor came to give way”, he said.
The causes of the accident are still being investigated. “We have Civil Defense teams on site. The company and employees have already been instructed on how to move at the site. The inspection process is still being carried out”, said Almeida.
In a press conference held this afternoon, the Secretary of Planning and Environment informed that the company made changes to the original project that was delivered to be regularized. These changes were then irregular, that is, they had not yet been regularized by public bodies.
In order to function, a company needs to regularize its documentation with public bodies. It needs, for example, the Habite-se, a document issued by the city hall that proves that the work is in order, that is, that the property was renovated or built in accordance with the legal norms of the municipality where it is located. In addition, it needs to have the Fire Department Inspection Auto (ACVB), a document issued by the Fire Department that certifies that, during the inspection, the building had the safety conditions for operation. And as Multiteiner is located within an environmental preservation area, it still needed approval from the Environmental Company of the State of São Paulo (Cetesb).
In the case of Multiteiner, explained the secretary, it had requested approval of the construction project in 2008 from Cetesb. “Even though Cetesb approved it in 2008, the businessman carried out the work totally outside the standard and parameters determined by Cetesb”, he said.
In addition to changes to the project that had been approved, the company also modified its function.
“This work was approved in 2008 by another owner, who was not this one. He approved a project at Cetesb, but this property ended up being negotiated with the current Multiteiner. And Multiteiner made changes [no imóvel] over time. The project that was initially approved by the other company was even a commercial warehouse project. And when the inspection was requested, it was seen that [a nova empresa] was in disagreement. At the time of the inspection, in 2017, if my memory serves me correctly, it was not only in disagreement but also had not been completely executed”, explained Marcelo Motta, architect of the city hall.
“Between 2017 and 2019, we notified the company several times because it is in a watershed protection area. For the size of the company, preliminary approval from Cetesb was needed so that we could later analyze municipal laws. What happened was that, as they changed the destination from commercial to industrial shed, they exceeded our licensing capacity. And then we notified the company so that it could go to Cetesb and correct the previous approval they had, from commercial to industrial shed, and adapt the project because you change the licensing category when you move from commercial to industrial. You start to need installation and operating licenses, etc.”, said the architect. “And this process had not yet returned. [da Cetesb] for us [da prefeitura]”.
According to the architect, the auditorium that collapsed yesterday, for example, was not part of the initial project. “He changed not only the building but the purpose of the building, from commercial to industrial. The auditorium where the accident took place was a training room. We didn’t have that information. If it was a training room and you use it as an auditorium, depending on the capacity of the number of people, you can cause an accident”, said the architect.
wanted by EBC, the Environmental Company of the State of São Paulo (Cetesb) informed that it is responsible for analyzing the environmental issues and the occupational indices of the property, as a permeable and built-up area, and that it does not evaluate “structural issues and the use of space for public or public events”. private”. These issues, said Cetesb, should have been analyzed by the city hall. “Cetesb does not evaluate the capacity of auditoriums or public or private rooms”, informed the agency.
According to Cetesb, there was a need to regularize the property with the agency because it is located in an area of protection and recovery of water sources. “And, therefore, the use of land on the site is subject to obtaining the Metropolitan License Permit from Cetesb,” she said in a note. Multiteiner, informed Cetesb, had this approval for the use of the site, but another licensing application was currently being evaluated with a view to regularizing the enterprise. According to Cetesb, these were environmental administrative pending issues.
Through a note published on its social networks, Multiteiner said that it “deeply regrets what happened” and that it was surprised “by the rupture of the structure, the reason for which is still unknown”. According to the company, its employees were gathered in the auditorium to start another day of work. “We inform you that all measures are being taken to investigate and clarify all that happened. However, at this time, we are prioritizing support and assistance to our employees and their families,” she said in a statement.
The accident is being investigated by the Civil Police. The Public Ministry of São Paulo announced today that it will follow up on the investigations.
Translated to english by RJ983
From Brazil, by EBC News