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Brazil dam collapse

200 missing, seven confirmed dead

26 January 2019, 8:54:00

At least seven people have been killed and about 200 others have gone missing in southeast Brazil after a tailings dam collapsed at an iron ore mine.

Fabio Schvartsman, the chief executive of the company that owns the mine, Vale SA, said only one-third of the roughly 300 workers at the site during Friday's disaster had been accounted for.

"The principal victims were our own workers," Schvartsman told a news conference on Friday evening, adding that the canteen where many ate "was buried by the mud at lunchtime".

Seven bodies had been recovered by nightfall, said Avimar de Melo Barcelos, the mayor of the town of Brumadinho where the dam burst in the mining-heavy state of Minas Gerais.

The toll was expected to rise sharply.

President Jair Bolsonaro will visit the affected region on Saturday, a government spokesman said. Brazil's Environment Minister Ricardo Salles was already on his way.


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