Hundreds missing in Brazil after Vale tailings dam breaks, area evacuated – by Anthony Boadle (Reuters U.S. – January 25, 2019)

BRASILIA (Reuters) – A Brazil fire brigade said it was searching for about 200 people still unaccounted for after a tailings dam burst on Friday at an iron ore mine owned by Brazilian miner Vale SA in southwestern Minas Gerais state.

A statement from the fire brigade issued in Belo Horizonte city said scores of people were trapped in areas by the river of sludge released by the dam failure.

Vale said there were employees in the administrative buildings of the dam that were covered by the surge of mud and water and there could be casualties in that area. There was no immediate word of fatalities.

The mud hit parts of the local community Vila Forteco, near the town of Brumadinho, where families were told to evacuate their home sin low-lying areas, authorities said.

Helicopters plucked people covered in mud from the disaster area, including a woman with a fractured hip who was among eight injured people taken to hospital, officials said.

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