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Dozens dead, hundreds missing in Brazil dam break

by Kent Covington
Posted 1/28/19, 11:01 am

The death toll from a massive dam collapse in southeastern Brazil rose to 60 Monday morning, with close to 300 people still missing, according to authorities. Rescue efforts continued into Monday after the search was called off for about 10 hours on Sunday over fears that a second dam might give way. Authorities told an estimated 24,000 people to get to higher ground, but by that afternoon, engineers said the second dam was no longer at risk.

The first dam, which held back mining waste, collapsed on Friday, sending a river of reddish-brown sludge into nearby communities. Mud was as deep as 24 feet in some places, slowing rescue efforts. Neither the Vale mining company that owns the dam nor Brazilian authorities have given a reason for the dam’s failure. Courts over the weekend froze about $3 million in Vale assets to cover state emergency services and told the company to report on how it planned to help victims.

Editor’s note: We’ve updated this article to reflect the latest number of dead and missing from the dam collapse.

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