May 21, 2019

Death toll rises to 121 in Brazil dam disaster, 226 still missing

04 February 2019, 07:57 | Edward Lowe

Death toll rises to 121 in Brazil dam disaster, 226 still missing

Death toll rises to 121 in Brazil dam disaster, 226 still missing

Authorities say that 110 bodies have been recovered and 238 are listed as missing.

A video released on Friday shows the exact moment a deadly dam burst at an iron ore mining complex in Brazil on January 25.

The footage shows the entire hillside below the dam collapsing, sending an enormous torrent of red-brown waste hurtling down the valley.

By Friday, the company said it was expanding its financial assistance to residents "who lived or carried out any rural or commercial activities in the Self-Saving Zone (ZAS) of the Emergency Action Plan for Mining Dams (PAEBM)".

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An internal study showed the miner knew as recently as previous 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.

Neto said liquefaction caused the 2015 collapse of the Samarco dam, which is co-owned by Vale and led to the deaths of 19 people.

The most recent victims were found in a changing room that was buried by more than 20 metres of mud.

"This tragedy will be remembered not just here but all over Brazil", said 23-year-old Jonatan Silva Santos, who lost friends that worked at Vale.

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Aihara said rescue teams were focusing on an area believed to have been occupied by a locker room used by employees of mining company Vale SA.

The camera, according to BandNews TV, was on top of a crane at the mine and captured the scene after the dam breach, which unleashed a massive wall of muddy, mine waste. Authorities have frozen over Dollars 3 billion in company assets for it to pay damages and compensation.

In the wake of the disaster, Vale has said it will take up to 10 percent of its production offline and spend 5 billion reais ($1.36 billion) to decommission 10 dams.

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