Legal liability

Il processo

Legal liability

The first trial took place in Trento and was concluded in less than three years. Legal proceedings ended after another four levels of judgment with the second sentence pronounced by the Supreme Court, which was delivered on 22nd June 1992. This verdict confirmed the sentences passed by the first trial. 10 people were convicted of multiple manslaughter and culpable catastrophe, in other words: Those responsible for building and managing the upper basin which first collapsed: the managers of the mine and some officials from companies involved in building and developing the upper basin from 1969 to 1985. Those responsible from

"Esistevano tutti gli elementi che avrebbero dovuto indurre a non utilizzare l'area prescelta."


The reason for the collapse The collapse was caused by the chronic instability of the dams, especially the upper one, which were below the minimum factor of safety required to avoid failure. In particular, the causes of instability were found to be as follows: The deposited silt had not settled for the following reasons: the marshy nature of the soil on which the dams were built, where it was impossible for the silt to settle; the bank of the upper basin was not built correctly, and therefore made drainage very difficult; the upper basin was built uphill and close to

The failure

[caption id="attachment_1440" align="alignleft" width="350"] The tailings dams shortly after the collapse. The mud inside the lower basin did not collapse as such, but moved like a huge splashing wave.[/caption] At 12h 22′ 55″ on 19th July 1985 the dam of the upper basin failed and collapsed onto the lower basin, which also failed.The mudflow composed of sand, slime and water moved downhill at a velocity approaching 90 km/h, killing people and destroying trees, buildings and everything in its path, until it reached the River Avisio. Few of those hit by this wave of destruction survived.Along its path, the mudflow killed

Minatori al lavoro


The Prestavèl Mine The Prestavèl mine is located on the western and southern slopes of Mt. Prestavèl at an altitude of 1500 to 1900 m a.s.l. The mine deposits had been exploited safely since the 16th century in order to produce silver galena. The largest vein extends approximately for 1,200 m and has a maximum depth of 10 m. The prevailing minerals are fluorite, quartz, calcite, galena and blende. In 1934, it was decided to exploit a number of fluorite seams. During the early period of activity, some 30 metric tonnes (t) a day of coarse material were extracted. The