Published on : Monday, January 28, 2019
Eight of the 58 bodies have been identified, a spokesperson for the southeastern state of Minas Gerais said Sunday. There are still 305 people missing as a torrent of water and mud slammed into Brumadinho, in southeastern Brazil.
There are more than 260 Vale mining company employees among the missing, a spokesperson said on Saturday. It’s unclear how many have since been rescued. Vale, the company that operates the dam, is the country’s largest mining company, according to The Associated Press. Vale employees were eating lunch on Friday afternoon when the dam collapsed.
A spokesperson for Minas Gerais state’s Civil Defense said 366 people have been rescued so far. Twenty-three people have been hospitalized, a spokesperson said. The rescuers have been digging through mud to find survivors.
The mining company said in a statement that part of the Vila Ferteco community has also been affected.
The top priority of the company right now is to support the rescue efforts and to help preserve and protect the lives of direct employees, third-party employees and local communities, confirmed the statement.
Nineteen people were killed when the village of Bento Rodrigues, also in Minas Gerais, was destroyed when a dam owned by Samarco, a joint venture by Vale and another Brazilian company, collapsed in November 2015. In the wake of that collapse, Samarco has provided $4.4 billion in compensation to the region over the past three years, according to Vale’s annual report.