Brazilians pay homage to victims of dam collapse

Gwen Vasquez
February 4, 2019

Earlier on Saturday, officials announced that the death toll from the collapse has risen to 115 dead and 248 missing.

On Friday noon, the search and rescue work suspended for the mourning of the victims of the tragedy.

More than 250 firefighters, with the help of 22 trained dogs, search for the 226 still missing following the collapse of the dam owned by Brazilian mining company Vale in Brumadinho.

New footage shows the moment a dam collapsed in southern Brazil, releasing a torrent of toxic sludge, as hopes of finding survivors wane.

That was also the cause of another dam burst, at a mine co-owned by Vale, in 2015. "Vale described the study as a routine disaster preparation plan required by regulators".

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Dramatic pictures, obtained by Brazilian TV station Bandeirantes, show the moment neighbouring buildings, farmland and parts of the town of Brumadinho were swallowed by muddy sludge in the disaster that has so far claimed more than 100 lives.

Vale said Friday it is expanding financial aid to those affected by the dam collapse.

The internal study reported by the Folha newspaper was dated April 18, 2018, and outlined the likely impact of a collapse at the dam.

Authorities and environmental organisations have begun testing water quality around the mining complex, while state and federal authorities have told residents to refrain from using water directly from the Paraopeba or 100m around it.

Vale said it was also "fully cooperating" with authorities and that three of its workers had been arrested with two others "responsible for the audit company who testified to the stability" of that dam. "We are in the investigation phase and we can not say whether the (inspection) model was adequate or not".

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