Brazil dam collapse death toll surges to 34
The death toll from a ruptured tailings dam in the southeast Brazilian state of Minas Gerais reached to 34, local media reported on Saturday.
Hundreds of people remain missing as the dam collapsed Friday at an iron ore mine, Brazilian daily Folha De S.Paulo cited Minas Gerais Fire Department.
The fire department said 23 people are in the hospital.
The company, Vale SA, said in a statement that mining waste from the dam reached the nearby town of Brumadinho and evacuation efforts were underway.
Mostly mine workers, at least 427 people were at the scene, and 279 of them have been rescued, according to the company’s CEO.
The exact cause of the collapse is still unknown.
Meanwhile, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro expressed deep sorrow over the incident, dispatching three ministers to the disaster area.
Another mining waste dam managed by Vale and Australia’s BHP Billiton broke in 2015, killing 19 and rendering hundreds homeless in the city of Mariana in Minas Gerais state.