Published: Sat, February 02, 2019
Markets | By Otis Pena

Moment of Brazil dam collapse caught on camera

Moment of Brazil dam collapse caught on camera

The disaster happened in the municipality of Brumadinho on January 25 when a tailings dam collapsed and sent 13 million cubic meters of sludge and mud down the hill.

It was the second dam disaster in three years at a mine owned by Brazilian mining giant Vale.

Newly released footage shows the moment a dam collapsed in Brazil, sending a river of mud across the nearby town of Brumadinho.

The same amount was frozen on Monday, after the state's Public Ministry of Labor requested a total of 1.6 billion reals (about 440 million US dollars) be frozen to cover costs related to the accident, which has so far killed 110 people, mostly Vale employees.

The danger is widespread - a 2017 report from the National Water Agency classified more than 700 dams nationwide as a high risk of collapse and with high potential for causing damage. The Corrego do Feijao mine in Minas Gerais was operated by Vale, a Brazilian company.

Vale, the world's biggest producer of iron ore and nickel, said it was co-operating with prosecutors.

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A ceremony was held at the site of the disaster around 1pm local time, the hour at which the dam breached. A priest also said a prayer in front of a tall cross that had been erected in the mud.

The search in the town of Brumadinho in Minas Gerais near Brasilia was ongoing but no survivors have been found in the last week.

Vale SA, the company that ran and operated the dam, claimed the residues did not have unsafe levels of metals, but experts argue the impact on the environment could be irreversible.

The indigenous group Pataxo-Hahahae that lives near the dam had expressed fears about the future as the collapse of the dam has polluted the Paraopeba River with mining waste.

The wave of mud is now moving toward the Sao Francisco very slowly but officials hope the Retiro Baixo hydroelectric dam and plant complex about 185 miles from Brumadinho will prevent the mud from contaminating it.

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