Economy

People Reportedly Missing After Brazilian Mining Company's Dam Collapses

People Reportedly Missing After Brazilian Mining Company's Dam Collapses

Residents are seen in an area next to a dam owned by Brazilian miner Vale SA that burst, in Brumadinho, Brazil January 25, 2019.

There were no official reports of deaths, but the state fire department told The Associated Press that about 200 people were missing.

Another dam administered by Vale and Australian mining company BHP Billiton collapsed in Mariana, Minas Gerais, in 2015, resulting in 19 deaths and dislocating hundreds from their homes.

At least seven people were killed and 150 left missing when a dam in an iron-ore mine in southeast Brazil collapsed Friday, the local government of the affected state of Minas Gerais was quoted by AFP as saying.

Avimar de Melo Barcelos, the mayor of the town of Brumadinho where the dam burst in Brazil's mining hub of Minas Gerais state, said seven bodies had been recovered by nightfall.

A fireman told Reuters that some 100 Vale SA employees among the missing were at lunch in the area at time of the disaster.

Eight people have been taken to hospital so far, officials said.

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An aerial view shows flooding triggered by the dam collapse.

Cattle are covered by mining debris after a mine collapsed near Brumadinho, Brazil, Friday, Jan. 25, 2019.

Photos showed rooftops poking above an extensive field of the mud, which also cut off roads.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro expressed condolences, and announced that the MInisters of Regional Development and Mines and Energy, as well as the country's Civil Defense chief have been sent to the area. According to Brazil's environmental protection agency, the barrier held 1 million cubic meters (35.3 million cubic feet) of tailings.

The Feijao mine is one of four in Vale's Paraoeba complex, which includes two processing plants and produced 26 million tonnes of iron ore in 2017, or about 7 per cent of Vale's total output, according to information on the company's website.

The iron ore mine is managed by Brazilian mining company Vale SA.

US -listed shares of Vale tumbled as much as 10 per cent after the incident, the second major disaster at a Brazilian tailings dam involving Vale in just over three years.