Friday, 19 April, 2019

Brazil dam disaster: 115 dead, 248 missing

Residents attend an ecumenical service in memory of victims of a collapsed tailings dam owned by Brazilian mining company Vale SA in Brumadinho Brazil SA miners to review tailings dams after Brazil disaster
Sandra Phillips | 04 February, 2019, 07:59

At least 65 people have died and a further 279 are missing. It said it estimated that investments of around US$5 billion would be necessary to decommission its upstream dams and estimated that the decommissioning process would occur over the next three years.

A rescue dog and firefighters search for victims of a dam collapse at an iron-ore mine belonging to Brazil's giant mining company Vale near the town of Brumadinho, Minas Gerais state.

A ceremony was held at the site of the disaster in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais around 1pm local time, the hour at which the dam breached on January 25, unleashing a destructive torrent of reddish-brown mining waste.

This is the process whereby a solid material loses strength and behaves more like a liquid, and was the same issue which led to the 2015 collapse of the company's Samarco damn.

"An internal study showed the miner knew as recently as previous year that some of the areas hit were at risk if its tailings dam burst, according to a report by Folha de S.Paulo newspaper", Reuters reported.

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Dramatic footage has emerged showing the moment a mine dam burst in Brazil, leaving 110 people dead and 200 missing. Vale described the document as a routine disaster preparation plan required by regulators.

The study envisaged that sirens would alert workers if the dam burst. Meanwhile, the police have arrested five people in connection with the Brazil dam collapse case, the report added.

The owner of the dam, Vale, said in a press conference that the majority of the victims were employees.

Money is also being provided to help pay for funeral services, the company said, as Brazil's ministry of labour froze more of Vale's assets with an eye on recovering cleanup costs and eventual compensation claims.

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