A dam that burst at an iron-ore mine in south-eastern Brazil on Thursday is thought to have killed at least fifteen people. A nearby town was devastated with mudslides, according to The Telegraph newspaper.
Authorities in Mariana said the dam had ruptured on Thursday afternoon and sent torrents of mud and debris into the small town of Bento Rodrigues, about 4 miles away. It swallowed cars, trucks, and destroyed houses. The whole village of Mariana was flooded and the inhabitants took refuge on the highs.
Forty-five people were still missing after the disaster at the Germano mine near the town of Mariana in Minas Gerais state.
A spokesman for the “Samarco mining company” said that the cause of the breach was not known yet.
Rescue teams are always searching for survivors or bodies. Residents living in an area downhill from the dam were told to evacuate to higher ground. Authorities said the dam was built to hold back water and residue from mining operations, a mixture that can often be toxic.
Minas Gerais state has been the mining heart since the sixteenth century. Gold exploitation is now replaced by ore mining, which in it’s time made the economic wealth of the country.
Laura Cayet, IEJ 3E group 1.