Brazil dam collapse: Death toll mounts to 50

Minas Gerais [Brazil]: As many as 50 people were on Saturday confirmed to have been killed by the collapse of a dam at an iron mine in the southwestern Brazilian state of Minas Gerais.

Avimar de Melo, mayor of the municipality of Brumadinho, said further details could not be ascertained due to the rapidly changing situation, Sputnik reported citing Brazilian newspaper Hoje em Dia.

According to another media report, firefighters managed to rescue 90 people in the disaster-hit area.
“According to the data, presented by the Vale company, 427 people were at the disaster-hit area (at the moment of collapse) and 279 have been found alive,” an official statement confirmed.

A number of helicopters have been deployed to carry out search and rescue operation with some areas of the Brumadinho municipality having been evacuated.

The firefighting service said that the collapse of the dam, owned by the Brazilian mining corporation Vale, resulted in the spillage of 3 million cubic meters (over 100 million cubic feet) of waste.

The dam collapsed on Friday, causing heavy floods that hit the Brumadinho municipality.

CNN quoted local authorities confirming that approximately 345 people reportedly went missing following the incident.