Toll in Brazil dam disaster rises to 115 dead, 248 missing

Gladys Abbott
February 2, 2019

As many as 248 people are still reported missing after the dam had given way in an iron ore mine in Brumadinho on January 25.

Dodge also met with representatives of the victims from Brumadinho and from Mariana, another town in Minas Gerais that experienced a similar tragedy in 2015, after a dam broke at another mining operation partly owned by Vale.

An internal study showed the miner knew as recently as past year that some of the areas swamped with toxic mud were at risk if the dam burst, according to a report by Folha de S.Paulo newspaper.

At least 110 people have died following the mine collapse, with a further 238 missing in the town located in the state of Minas Gerais.

The death toll from the collapse of a mine tailings dam in Brazil's Minas Gerais has increased to 110, authorities said.

A ceremony was held at the site of the disaster around 1pm local time, the hour at which the dam breached. The disaster is the second major incident involving the company in the past three years.

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The burst tailings dam at the Corrego do Feijao mine last Friday has ignited intense public anger against Vale, which was co-owner of Samarco, the previous dam that collapsed. A priest also said a prayer in front of a tall cross that had been erected in the mud.

Waste residue spread by the dam's collapse containing potentially toxic levels of iron oxide has plastered 252 hectares of the Brumadinho and the Paraopeba River.

The dam failure has released an estimated 12 million cubic metres of tailings (mining sludge) and the metal will enter the soil, affecting the local ecosystems.

Employees of the mining complex were eating lunch when the dam gave way.

Hundreds of municipalities and larger cities such as Petrolina, 1400km from Brumadinho, get drinking water from the Sao Francisco River.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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