Published: Mon, February 04, 2019
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

Deadly Moment of Brazil Dam Collapse Caught on Camera

Deadly Moment of Brazil Dam Collapse Caught on Camera

After the dam collapse, 115 people were killed and 248 are still missing.

The emergency service for the state of Minas Gerais, where the disaster occurred near the town of Brumadinho, added that the search for bodies was ongoing.

The dam failure unleashed a surge of mud that buried buildings adjoining the dam and several parts of the nearby city of Brumadinho.

The company that owns the ore mine, Vale SA, has been ordered to pay a fine of 250 million reals (US$66.32 million) for various violations that led to the collapse - one of the biggest environmental penalties in Brazil's history.

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. The catastrophic failure of a dam jointly owned by the mining company flooded the river below with toxic iron waste, killing 19 people and displacing hundreds more.

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The tailings dam at the Corrego do Feijao iron ore mine buckled, resulting in the hillside collapsing and a torrent of toxic sludge flowing down the valley, according to Reuters. The company has said the mud flow destroyed the sirens before they could sound the alarm.

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 is linked to another dam disaster in the same region in 2015.

"If we had known (what the problem was), maybe this tragedy would have never happened", The ministry's mining secretary Alexandre Vidigal said.

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