Hundreds of firefighters are taking part in the search effort, but hopes are fading after two iron ore waste dams collapsed last Thursday in the mining state of Minas Gerais. The massive release flooded towns with red mud and cut off drinking water in cities as far as 300 kilometers (186 miles) away.
The rupture unleashed some 62 million cubic meters (16 billion gallons) of waste, according to mine operator Samarco. It’s a joint venture between the world’s largest mining company, (Australia’s BHP Billiton) and the biggest iron ore miner (Brazil’s Vale).
The torrent of red mud engulfed the town of Bento Rodrigues and reached the neighboring state of Espirito Santo, through a nearby river, raising environmental and safety concerns.
As investigators probe the cause of the disaster, displaced residents have been trying to retrieve what they can in Bento Rodrigues, where all but about 20 of its 180 homes were destroyed by the mud.
The dam breach is believed to be the largest spill of its kind. The cost is expected to be high in terms of compensation to the victims and environmental cleanup to the mine itself, which accounted for a fifth of all global exports of iron ore pellets.
CCTV’s Lucrecia Franco reports from Rio de Janeiro.
New evacuations after two dams collapsed in Brazil disasterHundreds of firefighters are taking part in the search effort but hopes are fading, after two iron ore waste dams collapsed last Thursday in the mining state of Minas Gerais, flooding towns with red mud and cutting off drinking water in cities as far as 300 kilometers (186 miles) away. CCTV's Lucrecia Franco from Rio de Janeiro.
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