BRUMADINHO, Brazil (Reuters) – For Marco Antonio Ribeiro da Silva, a 39-year-old maintenance worker at iron ore miner Vale SA, God took the form of a Toyota Hilux pickup truck last Friday afternoon.
Leaders at the local mining union in the Brazilian town of Brumadinho, where a tailings dam burst on Friday, likely burying over 300 people, describe the deeply devout father-of-two as one of the disaster’s most unlikely survivors.
Interview - Tuesday - Ribeiro - Sports - Scars
In a 45-minute interview on Tuesday, Ribeiro, who sports scars on his legs, arm and shoulder-blade from the ordeal, is quick to attribute his survival to his Christian faith. But even the less devout find his story — involving a last-second getaway on a pickup truck — miraculous.
“At the moment the disaster happened, I was right outside the restaurant,” said Ribeiro. “First, I saw water. And then I saw that mountain, two-and-a-half stories tall, coming down on top of us.”
Ribeiro - Kiosk - Entrance - Hall - Colleagues
Ribeiro had been sitting at a kiosk directly outside the entrance to the dining hall, greeting colleagues as they entered. He reckons nobody who went in made it out.
The initial wave of water, he said, sounded like the ocean. The wall of sludge that followed was roaring “like a detonation that never ends.”
Ribeiro - Colleagues - Way - Side - Mud
Ribeiro raced downhill alongside colleagues, while working his way toward the side of what would become the mud flow. As he picked up speed, he fell over, regained his footing and...
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