A dam that burst at an iron-ore mine in south-eastern Brazil on Thursday is thought to have killed at least 15 people, devastating a nearby town with mudslides and leaving officials in the remote region scrambling to assess casualties. Forty-five people were still missing after the disaster at the Germano mine near the town of Mariana in Minas Gerais state, a local union told the G1 news portal. The mine is operated by Samarco, a joint venture between the Anglo-Australian mining giant BHP Billiton and the Brazilian company Vale. Andrew Mackenzie, the chief executive of BHP, said in Melbourne: “Most of what happened there has been under the cloak of darkness. “At daybreak, clearly we will do an awful lot more and give you further updates.” The company would “take all steps” to ensure the safety of the workers and communities affected by the disaster. Video footage on the G1 website showed houses of a village destroyed by flood waters and clay-red mud that surged down valleys in the mountainous region. Large vehicles lay tossed on their sides. There was no official confirmation on the total number of dead and missing. A city hall official confirmed one death and 16… Read full this story
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