Toll in Brazil dam disaster rises to 115 dead, 248 missing

Israeli military personnel search for victims on Wednesday

Israeli military personnel search for victims on Wednesday

In 2015, another tailings dam partly owned by Vale collapsed in the Minas Gerais town of Mariana, causing the worst environmental disaster in Brazil's history.

The death toll in the collapse of a dam in Brazil's southeastern Minas Gerais state grew to 115 while 248 people are missing. Rescuers momentarily stopped looking for bodies and police helicopters released flower petals over the ruined area.

Camera IconFriends and relatives light candles during a march paying homage to the victims.

Vale said it was also "fully cooperating" with authorities and that three of its workers had been arrested with two others "responsible for the audit company who testified to the stability" of that dam.

An official said authorities were not calling off the search for bodies although no-one had been found alive since Saturday.

Aside from the human tragedy, Mr de Melo Barcelos stressed that the city would need financial help from the federal government as almost 35 per cent of taxes collected for the municipality come from mining activities.

The mining company said it had also begun safely treating the streets and fields of Brumandinho to prevent the spread of disease as an environmental group told the AP Thursday that it had set out to test the Paraopeba river's levels of toxicity.

"After this disaster, we can no longer live with this type of dam", said Schvartsman, whose announcement helped to clarify the near-term impact of the accident on the company's production.

Hundreds of municipalities and larger cities such as Petrolina, 870 miles from Brumadinho, get drinking water from the Sao Francisco River.

Aerial view over mud and waste from the disaster caused by the dam spill in Brumadinho.

The mud is expected to reach the Retiro Baixo dam between February 5-10.

"If we had known (what the problem was), maybe this tragedy would have never happened", The ministry's mining secretary Alexandre Vidigal said.

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