Investigators have discovered that a leaking pipe caused a landslide that killed 48 people in the city of Manizales in central Colombia in November 2011, local media reported Thursday.
According to experts of the Colombian engineering firm Acuaservicios Engineering Solutions, the leaking pipe exploded, saturating a nearby mountain, which then triggered the landslide.
The 150-page study by the 15 experts, hired by lawyers reprensenting the families of the deceased, stated that the slope was stable, that the permanent rain in the area was not sufficient to cause its saturation and that there was no natural cause for the instability of the slope.
The experts also concluded that the community sought help from authorities before the disaster, but that their leaders paid no attention to them.
“Before the disaster they heard noises in the hillside, like running water, and they saw water coming out,” Maria Victoria Alvarez, a member of the Acuaservicios team, said according to La Patria.
Earlier, the mayor of Manizales said the authorities had not received any warnings of the disaster from experts nor local inhabitants. Watercompany Aguas de Manizales also denied responsibility for the tragedy.
The recent study from Acuaservicios was delivered to a lawfirm that will define legal action against the State.