There have been confirmed fatalities with hundreds of people missing following the collapse of a tailings dam in southeastern Brazil yesterday.
The collapse occurred at Dam 1 of the Feijão Mine in Brumadinho, Minas Gerais state. The dam and mine are owned by mining firm Vale, who confirmed that sludge from the dam reached the administrative area where employees were working, with part of the Vila Ferteco community also affected.
Nine people have been confirmed dead so far, with State governor Romeu Zema stating that it was unlikely more people would be found alive.
The cause of the dam collapse has not yet been confirmed. In a statement, Vale said that rescue and care of the wounded is being carried out on site by the Fire Department and Civil Defense. It said the company’s top priority now was to support the rescue efforts and to help preserve and protect the lives of direct employees, third-party employees and local communities.
Vale said it will continue to provide information as soon as it is confirmed.