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6 Nov 2015

The Guardian (UK), Associated Press and Reuters

Brazil: 15 feared dead & 45 still missing after accident in iron ore mine dam of Samarco according to newspaper and union; includes company’s comment

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“At least 15 feared dead after Brazil iron ore mine dam bursts and floods homes-Forty-five people are still missing after the disaster at the BHP-owned mine in south-eastern Brazil, and video shows a village destroyed by muddy Waters”, 5 November 2015

A dam has burst at an iron ore mine in...Brazil, and is thought to have killed at least 15 people, submerging nearby homes and burying vehicles. Forty-five people were still missing after the disaster in Minas Gerais state, a local union...[said]...The mine is operated by Samarco, a joint venture between...BHP Billiton...and...Vale...Houses...[were]...destroyed by muddy waters that surged down valleys...The city council...[said]...it was evacuating about 600 people...BHP Billiton said...it was “concerned for the safety of employees and the local community...”...Vale directed media questions to Samarco. Authorities said the dam was built to hold back water and residue from mining operations, a mixture that can often be toxic.The dam was holding so-called tailings, a mining waste product of metal filings, water and occasionally chemicals. It was located near a river, fueling fears of potential water contamination...Samarco said...it was making “every effort to prioritize care to people and mitigate damage to the environment”...