Brazil dam collapse toll rises to 84 | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 31, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, January 31, 2019

Brazil dam collapse toll rises to 84

The death toll from the collapse of a Brazilian dam rose to 84 yesterday as mining giant Vale announced that moves to dismantle similar structures would hit production.

Brazilian authorities are stepping up their probe of Vale, with five engineers involved in the operating licenses and the last inspection of the dam arrested on prosecutors' orders in the state of Minas Gerais, where the disaster occurred Friday at one of the firm's mines.

Flavio Godinho, Civil Defense spokesman in Minas Gerais, said the death toll had increased from 65 to 84, while the number of missing fell from 292 to 276.

Shares in Vale -- the world's biggest iron ore miner -- meanwhile ticked up nearly two percent in Sao Paulo, still far from recovering from a 24-percent wipeout suffered on Monday.

The company said it will freeze operations around 10 dams in Brazil to dismantle structures such as the one that resulted in the Friday disaster -- a move that will reduce annual iron ore production by 10 percent or 40 million tons.

The dam collapse at the Vale mine near the town of Brumadinho occurred three years after a similar disaster at another one of its sights in the same region.

That 2015 dam rupture, near Mariana, killed 19 people and caused what was considered the worst environmental catastrophe Brazil had seen.

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