Death toll rises to 58 in Brazil mining dam burst, 305 missing

Death toll rises to 58 in Brazil mining dam burst, 305 missing

Agency News

Brasilia, Jan 28: The death toll to dam burst at an iron ore mine in south-eastern Brazil town of Brumadinho owned by Vale SA, rose to 58, officials said on Monday.

According to Vale 305 employees, contractors and residents were still missing adding that 192 have been rescued so far. "After 48 hours of work, the chances of finding someone alive is very low, but we're working with the possibility that we'll find people alive." Col Eduardo Angelo, who is leading the search operation said.

"We've got to have hope," said a woman whose 35-year-old husband was missing.The dam break caused a sea of muddy sludge to bury the site. The Brazil's Environmental Protection Agency has issued an initial fine of 250m reais (66.5 million dollars) to Vale, in relation to the incident.

Brumadinho Mayor Avimar de Melo Barcelos criticised the company for being "careless and incompetent". The company claims that it had followed all safety procedures.

Mr Schvartsman, who took office in May 2017, promised "to go above and beyond any national or international standards... We'll create a cushion of safety far superior to what we have today to guarantee this never happens again."

The dam was built in 1976, was used to hold residue from the mine and it had a capacity of 12m cubic metres and had been an inactive site for three years, Vale said. (UNI)