Death toll from Brazil dam disaster reaches 99

  31 January 2019    Read: 1649
  Death toll from Brazil dam disaster reaches   99

The death toll from the collapse of a tailings dam in Brumadinho, Brazil's southeastern state of Minas Gerais, reached 99. 

The dam ruptured on Friday, sending a wave of iron ore waste and mud down the hill, destroying everything in its path, including residential areas, at least two small hotels and a large administrative area of mining giant Vale, owner of the mining complex where the dam was located.

No survivors were found on Wednesday, but rescue workers were able to retrieve the bodies of several victims who were at the Vale refectory below the dam when it collapsed. The refectory area was reportedly full of employees at that time, so more bodies of victims are expected to be found at that particular area.

Out of the 99 bodies retrieved, 57 have already been identified. Another 259 people are still missing, and though rescue teams have not called off searches for survivors, the possibility of finding people alive is widely regarded as very remote. No survivors have been found since Saturday.

So far, the muddy waste has traveled almost 100 km down the Paraopeba River. Vale started on Wednesday to install equipment in the river, trying to contain the material and prevent it from reaching the Sao Francisco River, where the Paraopeba disembogues into.

The Sao Francisco River is the longest river that runs in entire Brazil, flowing through five states.

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